Teal Group’s most recent analysis of Future Naval Ship EO/IR Sensor Systems covers naval EO/IR systems at the sophistication level (and expense) of the Mk 46/Mk 20 or greater. This is a very different market from the FLIR Systems, Inc. (FSI) SeaFLIR and other simple FLIR balls, and indeed, the US Navy’s earlier Shipboard Protection System (SPS), though now cancelled, was developed as a parallel situational awareness system for naval ships – in addition to the EOSS. Our forecast may prove conservative, or else future developments to simpler SPS systems could eventually replace the higher-end EOSS-type gun systems. The US Navy’s future plans are currently unclear, and international navies have typically bought the more prolific European naval EO/IR systems.
The AN/BVS-1(V) Photonics Mast is a submarine non-hull penetrating multi-sensor periscope providing all-weather visual, IR, and TV imaging for data collection and image enhancement. It was developed by Kollmorgen (now L-3 KEO) for the Virginia (SSN-774) class submarine, with production beginning in 2000.
In the mid-2000s, Lockheed Martin resurrected its 1990s-era AN/AAS-42(V) IRST (Infrared Search and Track) system from the US Navy F-14D Tomcat fighter, initially for South Korea and Singapore’s new F-15Ks and F-15SGs, as part of their Sniper/Tiger Eyes/IRST suite. More recently, Saudi Arabia also bought an upgraded AAS-42 system for their new F-15SA and F-15SA conversion aircraft, as part of their Sniper ATP/LANTIRN ER/IRST suite.
More a legend than a plane. King of the skies, tyrant of the air, occasional destroyer of airline balance sheets. This magnificent beast continues its long reign, knowing that the world's attention has shifted towards Toulouse, and Airbus's misguided effort to wrest control of the shrinking jumbo market away from Boeing. Through the '90s and early 2000s, new variant proposals were mooted and fell by the wayside, forgotten like a growing child's abandoned toys.
The joint Australian/U.S. Nulka (an aboriginal word meaning “be quick!”) active missile decoy has been produced for most major U.S. Navy warships, integrated into the AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system. The first installation began in 1994. It has now also been integrated into the SSDS (Ship Self Defense System). Nulka has been installed on the CG-47, DDG-51, FFG-7, LSD-41, and LSD-49 classes, with installation on nine CVNs beginning in FY14. Canada and Australia also operate Nulka. More than 1,000 Nulka decoy payloads have been delivered to the US and Australian Navies.
More than 10,000 AN/APR-39s have been produced over the past 50 years, but production slowed with planned new generations of integrated EW suites for helicopters – last century – including the US Army’s SIRFC and ATIRCM.
The deployment of AH-64A Apaches to Kosovo as early as 1999 showed that Apache pilots “had lost confidence” in the APR-39. The Apaches never went into battle, in large part due to the perceived inadequacy of the ECM suite. Again in 2001 in Afghanistan, Army pilots expressed little faith in the APR-39. The Army anxiously awaited the next generation of helicopter EW.
The first launch of a Falcon Heavy should take place this year. That’s a delay of about three years, as the test flight from Vandenberg AFB had originally been scheduled for 2013. A negligible delay, though, particularly for a vehicle of this size, power, and complexity—not to mention revolutionary low-cost structure. If it succeeds, Falcon Heavy will become the most powerful rocket in the world, with more than twice the payload lift capacity of an Ariane 5ES, a Delta IV-Heavy, a Proton M, or even the now-retired Space Shuttle. Ac-cording to SpaceX marketing literature, only the Apollo Saturn V rocket of the late-1960s and early-1970s has had a greater ability to deliver space payloads.
Funding began in FY09 for development of the US Navy's Next Generation Jammer (NGJ), intended to replace (or possibly upgrade) the Growler's AN/ALQ-99 pods near the end of the decade, and also provide the Marine Corps with a JSF-mounted EA system to replace its Prowlers. Unlike the short shrift given to the almost-new EA-18G ICAP-III systems, NGJ has been something of a holy grail for the EW industry, with four teams (BAE Systems, ITT/Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon) funded for early development.