Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thales enables AESA radar on Dassault Rafale; Harris dominates communications sector

BOSTON, USA: Despite the uncertainties that continue to dog the defense industry in all sectors, including radar, communications, electronic warfare and other systems, March showed robust activity. The Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) service report, “Defense Electronics Industry Review: March 2012,” includes significant defense industry news, discussing business events, product announcements, milestones and contract activity.

“Despite the countdown to sequestration in the US, and budgetary constraints in the global environ, defense industry activity remains robust from platforms down to components,” noted Asif Anwar, director of the ADS service. “The Saab Gripen project appears to be on track with commitments from the Swedish Armed Forces; and Boeing is delivering aircraft to the US Navy under two separate contracts.”

“Component technology development included DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) funded efforts, resulting in TowerJazz and UCSD demonstrating a SiGe (silicon germanium) -based wafer-scale phased array,” observed Eric Higham, ADS Service director, North America. “GaN (gallium nitride) also continues to cement its position as a key enabling technology, as seen at TriQuint, which released product at GOMACTech 2012.”

Other highlights in March included:
* The AESA (active electronically scanned array) radar from THALES being fielded on the Dassault Rafale fast-jet platform.
* AESA technology was also evident as the US Army awarded contracts for the AN/TPQ-53 Firefinder Radar to Lockheed Martin.
* Raytheon received a number of radar contracts, including improvements for the Counter Rocket Artillery and Mortar Sense & Warn (C-RAM S&W) systems, for which Raytheon will produce a Ku-band radar.
* Northrop Grumman continues to demonstrate market leadership in the optoelectronics space with contracts and milestones around the company’s Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and LITENING pod technologies.
* Communications contracts continued to be dominated by Harris.

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