BAE Systems has been selected to work on the second phase of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) adaptive radar countermeasures (ARC) programme.
Under the ARC Phase II, the company will deliver a prototype system featuring software algorithms that can detect and counter emerging radar threats. This will provide a major capability enhancement without the requirement for costly hardware upgrades.
BAE Systems Technology Solutions vice-president and general manager David Logan said: "Our work innovating next-generation electronic warfare (EW) technology will provide a major battlefield advantage and help create a smarter and safer environment for our warfighters.
"Technology that adapts to overcome our adversaries’ digitally programmable air defences is an important part of BAE Systems’ wider portfolio in cognitive programming for military systems."
BAE has already developed technology that utilises advancements in EW systems to rapidly characterise emerging radar threats, synthesise electronic countermeasures, and assess the effectiveness of the response under the Phases IA and IB of the programme.
When combined, the two phases represent a three-year, $21.6m opportunity for the company.
The ARC programme aims to allow US airborne electronic warfare systems to automatically generate effective countermeasures against new, unknown and adaptive radar systems, based on their over-the-air observable threat behaviours in real-time in the battlefield.
Scheduled to be developed using an open architecture, the ARC technology will be capable of isolating unknown radar signals in the presence of other hostile, friendly and neutral signals, and eventually lessen the threat posed by the radar.
The open architecture used will support integration, modification, and removal of software modules, with minimal impact on other elements of the ARC.
The ARC’s algorithms and signal processing software can be inserted into both new electronic warfare systems and retrofitted in existing systems without extensive rework of front-end radio frequency hardware.
The final implementation of the programme, which will include demonstrations through live flight tests on an existing EW system, is expected to occur by 2018.
Image: The adaptive radar countermeasures programme aims to develop technology to counter threats from adversaries’ air defence systems. Photo: courtesy of BAE Systems.