The pod-mounted RFCM system is a leading-edge, lightweight, high-power system that will add a new self-protection capability to this next-generation US Navy aircraft.
BAE Systems received a $4 million contract from the US Navy to conduct a quick-turnaround demonstration of a new radio frequency countermeasure (RFCM) system for the P-8A Poseidon. The pod-mounted RFCM system is a leading-edge, lightweight, high-power system that will add a new self-protection capability to this next-generation US Navy aircraft.
“The ability to meet this unprecedented response time underscores our agility, focus on meeting customer needs, and our ultimate goal of protecting our warfighters,” said Don Davidson, director of the Advanced Compact Electronic Warfare Solutions product line at BAE Systems, in the company news release. “A process that used to take 18 to 24 months has been scaled to five or six months, which is remarkable, as is deploying this new self-protection capability.”
The rapid response is the result of collaboration among small focus teams who developed an innovative approach to the design and fabrication of the system’s mechanical parts. As a result, BAE Systems will design, build, integrate, and ship the RFCM system in approximately five months, followed by two months of flight testing on the P-8A Poseidon platform. Testing will begin early in 2021.
The RFCM system consists of a small form factor jammer, a high-powered amplifier and the AN/ALE-55 Fiber-Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD).
Work on the contract will be performed at the company’s state-of-the-art facility in Nashua, New Hampshire.
The P-8A Poseidon, the Navy’s newest maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft, is a multi-mission capable replacement aircraft for the legacy P-3C Orion. Designed to secure the Navy’s future in long-range maritime patrol capability, the P-8A Poseidon has transformed how the Navy’s maritime patrol and reconnaissance force will man, train, operate and deploy.
The P-8A is designed to be combat-capable, and to improve an operator’s ability to efficiently conduct anti-submarine warfare; anti-surface warfare; and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions. These capabilities give warfighters added protection. The aircraft empowers the fleet with more combat capability, responsiveness, and interoperability with traditional manned forces and evolving unmanned sensors. The P-8A Poseidon has significant growth potential, with planned, phased-in technological improvements that extend global reach, payload capacity, and higher-operating altitude.
Photo credit: BAE Systems