18 Jul 06. At Farnborough International Air Show 2006 SELEX Sensors and Airborne Systems (S&AS), SELEX S&AS signed a Strategic Alliance with Northrop Grumman to further strengthen their collaboration in the manufacture and sale of Northrop Grumman DIRCM systems including the AN/AAQ-24(V) and the Guardian system.
Selex also announced the selection as preferred supplier by AgustaWestland to provide the multi-mode e-scan surveillance radar for the Royal Navy’s Surface Combatant Maritime Rotorcraft (SCMR) variant of the “Future Lynx” helicopter.
This selection follows closely on the heels of SELEX S&AS UK being awarded a contract by Lockheed Martin for the Blue Kestrel radar processor upgrade for the Royal Navy’s Merlin Capability Sustainment Plus (MCSP) programme. The new processor for Merlin will be virtually identical to that on SCMR and this will allow the significant benefits of coherent system acquisition to be achieved across the Royal Navy helicopter fleet – both operational and through-life capability sustainment. Importantly, the common processor will also allow for a possible future installation of an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) antenna on Merlin, should it be required by the Navy.
In the United States of America, the SELEX S&AS programme with the US Coast Guard continues apace and the first AESA radar delivered to the HC-130H programme has completed flight trials and is now entering full operational evaluation.
Steve Marlow, SELEX S&AS Head of Campaigns UK and Naval Helicopter Systems, said “We are very pleased that the advantages of our e-scan technology have been recognised by customers on both sides of the Atlantic. We believe that our AESA capability will go from strength to strength and we look forward to future successes with our e-scan product range. Our existing systems have a second to none reputation for reliability and performance. This new AESA technology takes this to an even higher level offering even better availability, better mission success and lower life cycle costs. Moreover, they have fantastic performance in both air to air and air to ground roles.”
SELEX S&AS has developed and tested a whole range of customer-specific systems for fire control and surveillance applications for use worldwide in fighters, helicopters, transport aircraft and UAVs.
Clearly demonstrating Selex SAS’s lead in leading-edge technologies, Selex announced further technology developments and orders.
The company announced that Galileo Avionica, together with EuroFirst partners Thales–UK and Tecnobit -Spain has been awarded a contract to supply the PIRATE Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) for the second tranche of Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft for the UK, Spain and Italy.
Galileo Avionica is the Prime Contractor for the EuroFirst consortium. The contract to supply a further 200 PIRATE systems for the second tranche of Eurofighter follows the first contract signed in December 2003 with EADS to supply the tranche 1 aircraft with this Electro Optical sensor.
The PIRATE (Passive Infra-Red Airborne Tracking Equipment) delivers substantial tactical advantages in air intercept and air-ground operations. It is mounted on the port side of the fuselage, forward of the windscreen. When it operates in air-to-air mode it functions as an Search and Track system (IRST), providing passive target detection and tracking. In an air-to-ground mode, it performs multiple target acquisition and identification, as well as providing a navigation and landing aid. The value of the contract amounts to over €120m.
“This 2nd tranche order is very important for us” – says Renzo Meschini, CEO and General Manager of Galileo Avionica – “not only because it sustains continuity in our production for the next years, but also, more important, is because it is about one of the main sensors aboard the Eurofighter, providing the aircraft with the best target tracking and detection capacity. Galileo Avionica is the