11 Mar 13. Raytheon tested its company-funded dual-band datalink with a Thales Nederland Advanced Phased Array Radar (APAR). The test took place at a shore-based Dutch facility and marked a key step toward enabling more European ships to employ the full range of missiles within the Standard Missile family, including the Standard Missile-3.
“Right now, few of Europe’s naval ships can participate in the ‘upper tier’ ballistic missile defense of NATO countries because their radars cannot communicate with the SM-3,” said Wes Kremer, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems for Raytheon Missile Systems. “A common datalink that operates with both X- and S-band radars is a very affordable, near-term solution that allows Europe to take advantage of proven technologies available today.”
Using both sending and receiving signals, the test validated the ability of the dual-band datalink to communicate with the APAR X-band radar, which is part of a radar suite used by the Danish, Dutch and German navies. Integrating a dual-band datalink into any of the Standard Missiles is a ‘drop in’ replacement for the current hardware.
“The dual-band datalink has significant implications for our U.S. Navy customers as well, because it allows them to save money by eliminating the need to maintain two separate inventories of Standard Missiles for the Zumwalt (X-band) and Aegis (S-band) ship classes,” said Kremer.
About the Dual-Band Datalink
In 2009, a joint U.S.-Netherlands study concluded SM-3 could be integrated with the Signaal Multibeam Acquisition Radar for Tracking-L and Advanced Phased Array Radar (SMART-L/APAR) sensor suites, providing non-AEGIS ships a viable missile defense capability.
* Generally, U.S. and NATO ships communicate with interceptors in either X- or S-band.
* To avoid unique configurations of missiles, Raytheon has developed a dual-band datalink which enables the same missile to communicate in both S- and X-band.
* In 2011, Raytheon’s dual-band datalink was tested in the lab using both S-band and X-band frequencies.
* The APAR radar was developed as part of an international cooperative effort involving Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.
* The Netherlands and Germany have seven frigates that utilize the SMART-L/APAR system (using X-band communication frequency).
* Denmark is expected to add three more ships that operate SMART-L/APAR to its fleet by 2013 (using X-band communication frequency).
* Norway, Spain and the U.S. operate AEGIS frigates (using S-band communication frequency)
15 Mar 13. Lockheed completes fit check of Norwegian JSM missile on F-35. Lockheed Martin has conducted the first fit check of Kongsberg’s new joint strike missile (JSM) onboard an F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter (JSF) aircraft at its facility in Fort Worth, Texas, US. Performed as part of phase two of the missile’s development programme, the fit check involved JSM integration on the F-35’s external pylon, confirming its ability to be installed for external carriage of the aircraft. Similar external fit checks are scheduled to be conducted by Lockheed on all three F-35 variants, in addition to an internal fit check to confirm missile’s ability to fit into internal weapons bay of the F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) versions of the Royal Norwegian Air Force in late 2013. Norwegian F-35 programme director Anders Melheim said the fit check confirms that the JSM development programme is moving forward, even though its operational use is still far away. (Source: airforcetechnology.com)
14 Mar 13. Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered its 500th AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System (DAS) sensor to Lockheed Martin for integration into the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. The DAS is a multifunction infrared system that provides passive, spherical battlespace awareness for F-35 pilots by simultaneously detecting and tracking aircraft and missiles in every direction, as well as providing visual imagery for