Posted by Courtney Howard
NASHUA, N.H., 3 Feb. 2012. U.S. Army officials have named BAE Systems in Nashua, N.H., and Northrop Grumman Corp. in Manassas, Va., as the contractors, under a 21-month technology demonstration award valued at $38 million, to develop the next-generation Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) solution. U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine rotary-wing aircraft will employ the lightweight, directed infrared countermeasure system.
BAE Systems’ Boldstroke solution features the best attributes of prior-generation laser jamming systems to meet the size, weight, and power (SWaP) requirements of rotary-wing and light fixed-wing platforms, says a representative. The Boldstroke lightweight, low-cost infrared laser countermeasure is designed to protect aircraft from infrared-guided missiles and other evolving infrared guided threats. It also is compatible with BAE Systems’ field-proven Common Missile Warning System, already deployed on most of the Army’s rotary-wing fleet.
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The Boldstroke system uses a Modular Open System Approach (MOSA) and non-proprietary interfaces that can support interchangeability and technology insertion, providing flexibility for decades to come. The system reduces A-Kit and B-Kit weight to maximize aircraft useful payload, and increases weapon system availability, providing significant life-cycle cost savings. The system uses flight-proven hardware and algorithms tested in BAE Systems’ flight simulation laboratory. Boldstroke systems will leave BAE Systems’ facility in New Hampshire ready for operational testing on the aircraft.
“This decision is a validation of our technology and commitment, and of our 30 years’ experience pioneering and delivering this type of technology and the exacting work behind it all, including threat exploitation, jam code development, hardware-in-the-loop simulations, flight tests, and live fire tests,” Bill Staib, director of BAE Systems’ Survivability & Targeting Solutions business, says of the systems that have saved lives and continue to save lives in combat.
Northrop Grumman and its teammates—including SELEX Galileo, Northrop Grumman's IRCM partner for more than 15 years, and Daylight Solutions, maker of quantum cascade laser (QCL)-based laser technology--have installed systems on several hundred aircraft of more than 50 types, including CV-22, CH/MH-53, CH-46, Lynx, Puma, and rotary- and fixed-wing types. The Northrop Grumman team delivers: laser autoboresight, QCL-based lasers, multiband laser, tracking in turret, high-resolution camera, laser pointing, laser tracking, jamming synchronization, and CMWS interface.