Electronic warfare components for Air Force B-1 strategic jet bomber to be maintained by engineers at Crane Microwave

ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga., 13 Oct. 2013. Electronic warfare experts at Crane Electronics Microwave Solutions in Chandler, Ariz., will maintain several kinds of avionics components and subassemblies in the AN/ALQ-161A defensive avionics system aboard the U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic jet bomber under terms of a $12.4 million contract.

Oct 13th, 2013
Electronic warfare components for Air Force B-1 strategic jet bomber to be repaired by engineers at Crane Microwave
Electronic warfare components for Air Force B-1 strategic jet bomber to be repaired by engineers at Crane Microwave
ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga., 13 Oct. 2013. Electronic warfare (EW) experts at Crane Electronics Microwave Solutions in Chandler, Ariz., will maintain several kinds of avionics components and subassemblies in the AN/ALQ-161A defensive avionics system aboard the U.S. Air Force B-1B Lancer strategic jet bomber under terms of a $12.4 million contract.

Officials of the Air Force Targeting & Electronic Warfare office at Robins Air Force Base, Ga., are asking Crane to provide depot-level maintenance of nine shop-replaceable units in the ALQ-161A radio frequency surveillance and electronic countermeasures (RFS/ECM) system on the B-1 bomber aircraft.

Crane will maintain ALQ-161A yttrium iron garnet (YIG) reject filters with drivers; YIG band pass filters; and digitally tuned oscillators under terms of the indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract.

The AN/ALQ-161A Defensive Avionics System on the B-1B bomber identifies, acquires, denies enemy radars and missiles. Built by AIL Systems Inc., the AN/ALQ-161A is a totally integrated RF countermeasures system.

The system provides 360-degree receive and jamming coverage against a large number of simultaneous threats, and also provides a tail warning function (TWF) to detect incoming missiles from behind the aircraft.

The EW system on the aircraft sorts threats by priority and react against them automatically. The system also knows when it is dangerous to use RF jamming. When the system is on, it does not emit signals that would give away the B-1's position until they are needed.

When jamming is used, it emits only in a certain direction. Moreover, when ECM emits jamming signals that could reveal its position, it does so only for a short time and then shuts down.

Crane Microwave has been maintaining the ALQ-161A YIG reject filter with driver on the B-1B since August 2005, and has been repairing the system's YIG band pass filter and digitally tuned oscillators since 2006.

The company is the only source with the data, skills, special equipment, and facilities necessary to repair the items, Air Force officials say.

The AN/ALQ-161A is made up of more than 108 line-replaceable units, weighing more than 5,000 pounds, consuming about 120 kilowatts of power, say officials of the current supplier, ITT Exelis.

The AN/ALQ-161A, which first was delivered in the 1980s, has been sustained through a series of OFP block cycle upgrades and hardware upgrades to incorporate modifications necessary to detect and counter the ever changing threat.

Crane Electronics Microwave Solutions manufactures a wide range of RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products, power conversion systems, and power supplies for military communications networks and systems related to electronic warfare, precision guidance, radar, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance.

For more information contact Crane Electronics Microwave Solutions online at www.craneae.com/Products/Microwave/Microwave.

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