Battlefield Tech

US Army seeks new airborne tech to detect, defeat radar systems

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army is seeking industry input on new technology allowing aircraft to survive and defeat systems in sophisticated adversarial environments made up of sensitive radars and integrated air defense systems.

A notice posted online Aug. 12 from the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Center is asking industry for ideas ahead of an industry day in September that will provide additional information regarding the technical specifications. The service will also answer questions in depth at the event.

“The future multi-domain operational environment will present a highly lethal and complex set of traditional and non-traditional targets. These targets will include networked and mobile air defense systems with extended ranges, and long and mid-range fires systems that will deny freedom of maneuver,” the notices stated.

To maintain an advantage, the notice stated, the Army aviation community must modernize its reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition and lethality with an advanced team of manned and unmanned aircraft as part of its Future Vertical Lift modernization effort, which calls for a future attack reconnaissance aircraft.

The desired end state of this interconnected ecosystem will enable the penetration, disintegration and exploitation of an adversary’s anti-access/area denial environment comprised of an integrated air defense system as well as surveillance and targeting systems, command-and-control capabilities, and communications technology. It will do this through a series of air-launched effects, which are a family of large and small unmanned or launched systems capable of detecting, identifying, locating and reporting threats while also delivering nonlethal effects.

Some of the sensors described include those that can passively detect and locate threats within the radio frequency/electro-optical/infrared spectrums, active detection, electronic or GPS-based decoys, and sensors able to disrupt the detection of friendly systems through cyberspace or the electromagnetic spectrum.

The notice lists five technology areas of interest:

  1. Hardware for the mission payloads.
  2. Hardware, software or techniques for distributed collaborative teaming capabilities to include processing technologies, cyber protection and data links to enable command and control of air-launched effects.
  3. Software or algorithms that can fuse, process, decide and act on sensor data allowing air-launched effects to autonomously react and adapt to countermeasures.
  4. Multimode/multifunction technologies consisting of payloads for synthetic aperture/moving target indicator radar or combined electronic warfare, radar and communication functions that share common apertures.
  5. Modular open-systems architecture.
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