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’s Military Electronics Briefing has added new forecasts for the biggest naval EW (electronic warfare) programs of the next ten years, including the multi-prime contractor AN/SLQ-32 & SEWIP (Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program) programs – in several “Blocks”, Raytheon’s SSDS (Ship Self Defense System), and Lockheed Martin’s Nulka and AN/ALQ-248 Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) decoy systems. When including all versions of the SLQ-32 and SEWIP, those programs alone will be worth $6.4 billion in Teal’s forecast. The MEB has also added a new, speculative Future US Air Force RF ECM Pods forecast.
High-end business jets are a strong market. General Dynamics' first-quarter results, announced last month, show the continued evolution of the company from an almost pure-play defense prime to a company deriving nearly half (45%) of its earnings from Gulfstream Aerospace and Jet Aviation, two units that focus on manufacturing, completing, and supporting high-end ($26 million-plus) jets.
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.
The National Aeronautic Association Collier Trophy Committee is a great place to see present-day glimpses of our industry's future, and this year I was privileged to serve on it for a third time. There were two finalists, Northrop Grumman's X-47B (the winner) and Pratt & Whitney's PurePower Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine, which superbly illustrated two radically different aspects of our future.