Mercury to build 19 advanced airborne electronic warfare devices in $10.8 million order

LAKEHURST, N.J. – U.S. Navy electronic warfare (EW) experts are asking Mercury Systems to build 19 electronic radar-spoofing devices to help protect military combat jets from radar-guided missiles.

Jan 16th, 2017
Content Dam Mae Online Articles 2016 12 Mercury Drfm 3 21 Dec 2016
LAKEHURST, N.J. – U.S. Navy electronic warfare (EW) experts are asking Mercury Systems to build 19 electronic radar-spoofing devices to help protect military combat jets from radar-guided missiles.

Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, N.J., announced a $10.8 million order to the Mercury Defense Systems (MDS) subsidiary of Mercury Systems Inc. in Cypress, Calif., to build 19 Type II advanced Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) units.

The Mercury Airborne 1225 ruggedized air-cooled, airborne 3-bit miniaturized digital RF memory (DRFM) was developed for airborne, pod, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications with as much bandwidth as 1200 MHz. It is self-contained with internal techniques and RF and power supplies.

Mercury won a $15.4 million order from the Navy last April to build 28 Type II DRFM units. Previous to that, Mercury won a $7.6 million order from the Navy in June 2015 to build 14 Type II DRFM units; a $2.6 million DRFM order in October 2014, and a $1.5 million Navy order for this technology in June 2014.

Related: Navy ramping-up procurements of Mercury's radar-spoofing digital electronic warfare (EW)

DRFM technology has several features. First, it provides coherent time delay of RF signals in applications like radar and electronic warfare. It also produces coherent deception jamming to a radar system by replaying a captured radar pulse with a small delay, which makes the target appear to move.

DRFM also can modulate captured pulse data in amplitude, frequency, and phase to provide other affects. A Doppler shift correlates range and range rate trackers in the radar. DRFM also can replay captured radar pulses many times to fool the radar into perceiving many targets.

Small packages, fast response, and large volumes of low-latency compute power define modern DRFM evolution, Mercury officials say. The company's latest DRFM technology produces modules as thin as 0.44 inches, and capitalizes on direct digital synthesizer (DDS) local oscillator (LO) technology.

DDS delivers sub-microsecond tuning speeds over a wide bandwidth, while advanced circuit design and simulation helps reduce spurious, inter-module and phase noise.

Related: Navy orders advanced radar-killing air-to-ground missiles and missile upgrades in $83.4 million deal

The Mercury 1225 DRFM has more than 15 dBc worst-case spurious suppression across the entire band with typical spurs of more than 19 dBc. The Airborne 1225 has storage for as many as 48 user-defined deception programs.

The unit has one RF converter, one converter/memory, and one system controller; three bit phase encoding at 1.2 GHz instantaneous bandwidth; can program each false target for range, Doppler, and bi-phase; can track as many as four emitters; and offers internal techniques against two to four emitters.

For the contract Mercury will do the work in Cypress, Calif., and should be finished by July 2018. For more information contact Mercury Defense Systems online at www.mrcy.com/defense_systems, or the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division-Lakehurst at www.navair.navy.mil.

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