BALTIMORE, July 21, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) and Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Systems Development and Technology Division have successfully demonstrated a new advanced radar system that helps protect Army ground vehicles from hostile missiles and artillery projectiles.
In a series of tests, the two organizations demonstrated that Northrop Grumman's new Ka-band microwave system (KAMS), an active protection radar system for military ground vehicles, could consistently detect tank-fired projectiles traveling at more than 1,500 meters per second (near-Mach 5 velocity). Sponsored by the Army's Tank and Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, the tests were conducted at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in late May and early June.
KAMS features an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar antenna developed by Northrop Grumman and radio frequency and digital signal processors from ARL. It performs battlefield tactical identification functions, moving target area surveillance, and high-bandwidth communications between vehicles -- all critical requirements of the Army's Future Combat System (FCS).
"Integrated with ARL's Ka-band research radar, Northrop Grumman's innovative AESA antenna prototype successfully and consistently performed instantaneous beam-positioning to detect surrogate tank-fired threat munitions," said Dr. Taylor W. Lawrence, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Systems Development and Technology Division. "This promising, affordable agile beam technology not only provides the speed and coverage needed for survivability but also allows for multifunction capabilities on future FCS light vehicles and current mounted forces."
The recent tests also mark the first time that a Ka-band AESA has been used to detect very-high-velocity incoming projectiles, Lawrence noted.
Unlike a mechanically steered radar antenna, which cannot change positions instantaneously, an AESA can steer its radar beam anywhere within a plus-or-minus 45-degree angle in azimuth or elevation in less than a millisecond. Four AESA apertures affixed to the front, sides and back of a vehicle provide complete hemispherical detection and tracking of incoming threats while developing targeting solutions to destroy them.
Because it has no moving parts, an AESA radar offers greater reliability than a conventional mechanically scanned array. In addition, KAMS is only a few inches thick and 6 to 8 inches wide, which makes it easier to install on a vehicle.
"The building block scalability of our AESA array and its requirement of fewer components than alternative AESA technologies make this new radar an attractive, affordable option for FCS and other ground vehicle applications," Lawrence added.
Northrop Grumman's Systems Development and Technology Division is a unit of the company's Baltimore-based Electronic Systems sector, a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of defense and commercial electronic systems and sensors, including airborne radars, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, air traffic control systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, government systems, and logistics services.
CONTACT: Doug Cantwell Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (410) 765-9332