This month we focus on the US Army’s AN/MLQ-40(V) Prophet program, born out of the US Army’s failed Intelligence and Electronic Warfare Common Sensor (IEWCS). Prophet has existed since 1998 and is still the primary US Army integrated all-frequency signals intercept/emitter location/countermeasures system which searches, intercepts, locates, identifies, and applies countermeasures to enemy fire control and command and control (C2) emitters. Taking over from IEWCS, Prophet became the major Army ground forces EW program (aside from counter-IED systems), replacing a rag-tag collection of non-interoperable systems which had previously made up the Army’s signals intelligence (SIGINT) and electronic warfare capability.
Teal Group recently updated its outlook for ground-based air defense radar programs, including BMDS systems, as well as a few airborne ISR systems. The financial value of these programs is great – with several multi-billion programs (and much still uncontracted).
One of the largest future programs, despite being a legacy system, is Raytheon’s radars for the Patriot air defense missile system. Teal Group forecasts Patriot radar and C4I funding of between $900 million and $1.2 billion annually throughout our forecast period.
For the past year, it seems like just about everyone I encounter within the space industry has asked me about this thing called “NewSpace”. It has suddenly become all the rage, a phenomenon. NewSpace has been described as both a movement and a philosophy based on the idea commercializing space—both in Earth orbit and beyond.
There has been some growing concern within the U.S. Congress and Department of Defense (DoD) in recent years about the shrinking U.S. industrial base for solid rocket motors (SRM). During the past two decades, the number of American SRM manufacturers has gone from six companies to two companies—Aerojet Rocketdyne of Sacramento, CA and Northrop Grumman Innovation Systems (formerly Orbital ATK) of Dulles, VA.
The Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV) is the most futuristic application for UAVs, and has seen considerable turmoil over the past decade, while the services thrashed out what they expected from the program. DARPA headed the original program, followed by a DoD consolidation, only to see DoD again break up the program with the Navy pursuing the carrier-based J-UCAS and the Air Force effort disappearing "into the black".
The Navy program seems to have ended in 2016 with the shift from the UCLASS strike/ISR to the CBARS aerial refueling system. However, it is also possible that the Navy has shifted its stealth/strike UAS "into the black”.
In September 2018, the US Army awarded competitive contracts to Thales Defense and Harris Radio Corporation, for procurement of the 2-Channel Leader Radio, to support the Army’s Network Modernization strategy, Security Force Assistance Brigade communication needs, and Network Cross-Functional Team experimentation efforts with a software-defined radio capable of providing data and voice communications via multiple waveforms. With the 2-Channel Leader Radio, soldiers will only carry one radio instead of the two currently required for voice and data. Thales’ Leader Radio is its AN/PRC-148C (IMBITR), embedding the TrellisWare TSMTM waveform.
Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) programs tend to be among the most classified programs in the U.S. and other militaries. While bits of information often become available – especially RFPs – comprehensive program information and funding tend to remain secret. It is certain that many small, probably inexpensive SIGINT sensors are currently flying aboard small UAVs, but comprehensive information is not available publicly.
Topline output continues at near record levels. Key segments look set for growth through the next three years, at least. There are areas of concern, and not all manufacturers will benefit equally, but overall the industry is in excellent shape.
World industry output in 2017 came to just over $180 billion. Deliveries in 2014-2016 have all been at about this level in constant 2018 dollars (2015 was the all-time record, at $183.5 billion).