USAF F-16 jet

Lockheed Martin has awarded a contract to ITT Exelis to deliver its Continuous Wave Illuminator (CWI) subsystem for installation onboard the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft.

Under the $9.4m contract, the company will supply an unspecified number of the CWI subsystem, which is a special-purpose transmitter designed to work with the aircraft’s fire control radar and mission computer to guide semi-active missiles following their launch.

Exelis integrated electronic warfare systems vice president and general manager Joe Rambala said the company is looking to provide a lighter, more powerful electronic warfare solution to Lockheed.

"The CWI technology plays a critical role in the mission success of US and allied warfighters,” Rambala added.

Having half the volume and 60% of the weight of the conventional subsystem mounted on older aircraft, the new system uses radio frequency (RF) energy to illuminate airborne targets to ensure the missile finds its target.

"The CWI technology plays a critical role in the mission success of US and allied warfighters."

The system also leverages the latest technology for its high-voltage power supply, digital control, microwave signal generation, as well as power amplifier circuits.

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Powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F-100-GE-129 turbofan engine, the multirole F-16 Fighting Falcon was initially designed as an air superiority day fighter, but later evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft to accurately deliver ordnance during non-visual bombing conditions.

Aside from the air forces of Israel, Egypt, New Zealand, South Korea, Chile, Poland, UAE, Bahrain, Greece, Singapore, and the US, the fighters are operated by the Air Force Reserve Command, Air National Guard units, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the US Navy.

Manufacturing work under the contract will be carried out by Exelis Electronic Systems in Clifton, New Jersey, US, while deliveries are scheduled to complete by December 2014.

Image: A USAF F-16 Fighting Falcon Block 40 aircraft conducting mission in Iraq. Photo: US Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Andy Dunaway/Released.

Defence Technology