PARIS – BAE Systems plc (Bristol, England) announced it has obtained a $34 million contract from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop the next generation Multi-Function Radio Frequency (MFRF) Advanced Rotary Wing Multifunction Sensor (ARMS) system for helicopter operations.
The MFRF ARMS system is meant to enhance helicopter survivability, BAE Systems said. It is designed to allow safe take-off and landing in brownout or whiteout conditions.
More specifically, BAE Systems claimed that the MFRF system includes cable and obstacle avoidance, collision avoidance, terrain following/terrain avoidance, weather avoidance, landing zone assessment and ground mapping. Then, the system’s multi-functionality enables additional modes for lethality enhancements including targeting, weapons guidance and high bandwidth data communications
The system is also composed of a highly-modular and scalable W-band Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA) that includes over 10,000 elements and is built from a silicon Transmit/Receive “Tile” containing 16 elements and beamformer electronics in a single chip. The result is a software-programmable, AESA-based radar/sensor that can be scaled up or down across a wide range of aperture sizes, BAE claimed in a statement.
The ARMS program is part of an overall Integrated Threat Management System that aims to provide rotary wing crews with real-time situational understanding of threats to the aircraft and its missions, including terrain obstacles, other aircraft, cables and enemy munitions.
Led by BAE Systems, the research team gathers Mustang Technology Group, Honeywell Aerospace Defense & Space, Applied Signal Intelligence, Inc. and the University of Michigan.
In parallel, BAE Systems said it will provide communications and electronics services as part of a $698 million U.S. Navy contract.
The company said it will support the Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Atlantic with services to guarantee effective communications and electronics networks for vehicles used by the Navy, Marine Corps and other joint forces. These services will consist in designing and engineering, prototyping and testing, and systems and software integration – critical and complex tasks prior to the installation of the networks. BAE Systems said it will also help to maintain the networks and other equipment once the vehicles are in use.
-------------------If you found this article to be of interest, visit Military/Aerospace Designline where you will find the latest and greatest design, technology, product, and news articles with regard to all aspects of military, defense and aerospace. And, to register to our weekly newsletter, click here.