Harris has received a four-year, $55 million contract to perform sustainment work on the electronic warfare system used by the US Air Force (USAF) to protect B-52s and C-130s from radar-guided threats. The contract was received during the first quarter of Harris' fiscal 2017.

Harris will redesign one of the ALQ-172’s Line Replaceable Units (LRU-1) as part of wider efforts to increase the electronic warfare suite’s reliability, supportability and availability.

Hostile air defence systems are becoming more sophisticated and accessible in global conflict zones,” Ed Zoiss, President, Harris Electronic Systems, informed Mönch. “With the B-52 set to remain a key component of US strategic airpower for the next two decades, it is essential that it be equipped with innovative electronic warfare technology capable of defeating future threats.”

In addition to a new LRU design, Harris will develop software, support customer testing, and other solutions for the USAF. In 2015, Harris received a series of orders to perform similar redesigns of other ALQ-172 subsystems, including LRU-4, LRU-7 and LRU-8.

Over the past decade, Harris’ ALQ-172 self-protection integrated RF subsystem has successfully defended B-52 bombers and Special Operation C-130 Combat TALONs and gunships against RF threats in combat missions. The combat-proven system can simultaneously counter multiple pulse, continuous wave, pulse Doppler, and monopulse threats. The ALQ-172 is integrated with the aircraft controls and displays and defensive subsystem to provide the aircrew with protection against the most sophisticated radar-directed threats. Continuous upgrades to the ALQ-172 have incorporated Geolocation situational awareness capability on the B-52, advanced counter-measures in response to modern threats, and new technologies to improve performance, maintainability, and supportability. The ALQ-172(V)3 provides extended frequency coverage required to counter new and emerging threats. Looking to the future, Harris is developing the next ALQ-172 system upgrade designed to meet the needs of the B-52 and its crew through 2040. The ALQ-172 MARS upgrade reduces system weight and power requirements while further improving system performance, maintainability, and reliability. MARS improves system performance by adding the latest processing and digital receivers through the use of FPGA-based technology. (Photo: Harris)

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