Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., announced an $8.2 million contract to Sierra Nevada on Friday to provide as many as 16 Block III receiver upgrade kits for the AN/SPN-46 precision-approach landing system.
The Block III receivers are critical components on the AN/SPN-46 shipboard-based precision approach and landing system. The AN/SPN-46 precision approach landing systems from Textron Inc. in Providence, R.I., are installed on all US Navy aircraft carriers.
The AN/SPN-46 employs low-probability-of-intercept technology to decrease the probability of passive detection by hostile forces. The AN/SPN-46 employs an X-band coherent transmitter and receiver using monopulse tracking and Doppler processing on received signals for clutter rejection and rain attenuation at an operating range of eight nautical miles.
The AN/SPN-46 precision approach landing system (PALS) includes the Textron SPN 46 (V)1 and (V)2 automatic landing systems for aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships. The system provides final approach and landing guidance for aircraft during day/night operations and adverse weather conditions.
The precision approach landing system can control as many as two aircraft simultaneously in a leapfrog pattern; each approaching aircraft being assisted by the system lands, another can be acquired.
The AN/SPN-46 radar provides a Mode 1 approach. When engaged a PALS approach provides a hands-off landing for the pilot. Pilots reportedly do not use it often, preferring not to hand off much of the aircraft's controls to a computer but it is important for controller to be able to take control when all other systems fail.
On this contract Sierra Nevada will do the work in Sparks, Nev., and should be finished by November 2018. For more information contact Sierra Nevada Corp. at www.sncorp.com, or the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst at www.navair.navy.mil/lakehurst.