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16 Sep 13. Northrop Grumman on Thursday unveiled a new anti-missile laser protection system designed for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in Washington. The Threat Nullification Defensive Resource — ThNDR for short, to compliment the F-35’s “Lightning” designation — is a progression from Northrop’s directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) family of systems. DIRCM works by sensing by intercepting an incoming missile with a laser that confuses the seeker head on the weapon, causing it to lose track of the aircraft. The system has been highly successful, with installation on over 50 different platforms, but had yet to be mounted on a fighter jet in large part due to the challenge of getting a system to work with the tight turns and high speeds that pilots would be required to make in a combat situation. Although not yet part of the F-35 program, Northrop is confident the Pentagon wants to incorporate some form of missile-protection into its fifth-generation fighter.
“We know that requirement does exist and it is on its way,” said Jeffrey Palombo, Northrop’s sector vice president and general manager for the Land and Self-Protection Systems Division. In an attempt to get ahead of potential competition, the company self-funded the research and design of ThNDR. ThNDR was designed to meet specific size limitations for the F-35. It will be nestled next to the distributed aperture system (DAS), also designed by Northrop, and tap into the cooling system already in the fighter. Each jet will get a pair of systems, one on the top of the plane and one on the bottom, to create 360-degree coverage against threats. A major feature of the F-35 is its low-observable design, vital to its stealth capabilities. Anything sticking off the plane could threaten those stealth characteristics, so ThNDR will be installed inside the jet, with a window cut out to allow the lasers to operate. The company expects the requirement for a missile defense system to be included in the Block 5 upgrade, in the 2017 time frame, and be available for all domestic and international customers. “There’s no reason at all that it can’t be retrofitted” into an already-produced F-35, Palombo said, although he declined to go into details on what that might look like. The system still has a way to go before completion, with testing planned in Northrop’s laboratories before the end of the year. While no requirement has been issued, Carl Smith, vice president of Infrared Countermeasures, said the company is keeping in touch with the F-35 Joint Program Office. (Source: Defense News)
10 Sep 13. Chemring eyes Japanese market for CBRN Detection Equipment. UK’s Chemring Detection Systems is marketing its Joint Biological Point Detection System (JBPDS) to Japan with the intention of fulfilling the countries requirements in CBRN defence and detection. During the DSEi exhibition in London, John Michael Petinarides, the senior business development manager of Chemring Electronic and Sensors Division told MPI that the company was marketing the system to Japan based on the success it has received with the US Army. In addition, he also mentioned that the company has been marketing its range of chemical and biological detectors to Japan including the Joint Service Lightweight Stand-off Chemical Agent Detector (JSLSCAD) and the JUNO hand-held chemical detector. The JBPDS provides automatic detection and identification of airborne biological agents at very low levels, triggers local and remote warning systems, and communicates threat information over standard communication systems. In June 2013, Chemring Detection Systems won a Full Rate Production contract to supply its JBPDS for the US Army’s Stryker Nuclear Biological Chemical Reconnaissance Vehicle (NBCRV). As per the contract, worth USD25.2m, the company is expected to deliver 32 JBPDS betwe