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BAE Systems will create advanced radar jamming technology for US Army helicopters and unmanned aerial systems, the company announced on 12 November.

The company has been awarded research and development (R&D) funding by the US Army to create an advanced radar jamming technology that aims to improve air survivability and mission effectiveness for the army’s helicopters and unmanned aerial systems (UAS) by detecting and defeating complex and unknown threats in electronic combat.

The company’s FAST Labs R&D team will design technology to integrate adaptive radio frequency jamming and sensing capabilities into one system. Whereas today's electronic countermeasure (ECM) systems are too bulky and heavy for most rotary-wing and UAS platforms, BAE Systems’ technology will combine multiple, software-programmable antennas into a digital phased array that will enable simultaneous functions, exceeding existing capabilities while reducing the size, weight, and power (SWaP) characteristics of current systems. The technology will enable these platforms to safely fly closer to threats and within contested areas while remaining protected.

"With the continuously evolving threat landscape, it's critical to provide the next generation of digital phased array technology to better defend our armed forces in electronic warfare," explains Chris Rappa, Product Line Director for Radio Frequency, Electronic Warfare and Advanced Electronics at BAE Systems FAST Labs. "Our technology will give the Army's rotary-wing aircraft and UAS a new, low SWaP system to securely and drastically increase their range of movements in future missions."

Research under this contract will add to BAE Systems' advanced electronics portfolio and is based on many years of investment in various programmes with the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL), US Army and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), including the latter’s CONverged Collaborative Elements for RF Task Operations (CONCERTO) and Radio Frequency Field Programmable Gate Arrays (RF-FPGA) programmes.

The innovative technology will significantly improve mission effectiveness and air survivability for US Army aviation assets. (Image: BAE Systems)

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