HUNTSVILLE, Ala., July 21, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Army's new Eagle Eyes dual-mode infrared/millimeter-wave radar (IR/MMW) seeker, supplied by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), successfully detected, acquired, tracked and struck a moving multiple rocket launcher during a June 27 engineering flight test.
Engineers from the Army's Precision Fires Rocket and Missile Systems and Northrop Grumman's Land Combat Systems business unit conducted the test on the missile range at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. It was the first in a series of engineering flight tests planned for the Eagle Eyes program.
The seeker was integrated with an unpowered precision loitering munition and equipped with a high-density flight data recorder instead of a warhead. It was released from a surrogate unmanned aerial vehicle (Cessna aircraft) at a tactical altitude.
A preliminary analysis of the data and visual inspection of the target indicated that all test objectives were accomplished. The munition executed the planned top-down direct attack maneuver as designed. Its seeker achieved and maintained dual-mode track, fusing data from the IR and MMW sensors. Newly developed terminal guidance algorithms guided the munition to the selected target, which it struck in a highly vulnerable area.
"The Eagle Eyes seeker, integrated with either a loitering weapon or a missile, will improve substantially the Army's ability to strike discrete, high-value targets, whether moving or stationary," said Emmitt Gibson, vice president of Precision Munitions at Northrop Grumman. "These engineering tests allow us to refine and mature Eagle Eyes' advanced sensors and algorithms, leading to a new generation of precision Army munitions."
Eagle Eyes combines advanced millimeter-wave radar with an imaging IR sensor, providing a co-boresighted, dual-mode RF/IR seeker. It offers an expanded engagement capability against a wide range of both stationary and moving targets, even in adverse weather conditions and against sophisticated countermeasures.
"This successful test of a five-inch-diameter, nine-pound-plus sensor payload resulted from an outstanding Army/contractor team effort," said William H. "Bud" Forster, vice president Northrop Grumman Land Combat Systems. "It increased our confidence that this tri-mode seeker, which integrates this combination with a semiactive laser in a heavier, seven-inch-diameter payload for the Army-led Common Modular Missile, is ready for system development and demonstration."
Land Combat Systems, Huntsville, is a unit of Northrop Grumman'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 radar, navigation systems, electronic warfare, precision weapons, airspace management systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, government systems and logistics services.
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