Northrop Grumman doubles resolution of Hawk missile sensor with electro-optical upgrades

ROLLING MEADOWS, Ill., 26 March 2013. electro-optics engineers at the Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems segment in Rolling Meadows, Ill., have developed a new-generation infrared sensor to improve resolution in export versions of the MIM-23 Hawk medium range surface-to-air missile.

Northrop Grumman is introducing its Fourth Generation Tracking Adjunct Sensor (4G TAS), the latest upgrade to the company's high-resolution electro-optical and infrared sensors for the Hawk air defense system.

The, built by Raytheon, was designed to shoot down aircraft, and later was adapted to destroy other missiles in flight. The missile entered service in 1960, and has not been used by U.S. military forces since 2002. The Army replaced it with the Patriot missile in 1994, and the Marine Corps replaced it with the Stinger missile in 2002.

The missile, which also has been produced in Western Europe, Japan, and Iran, was a contemporary of the Soviet SA-3 and SA-6 ground-to-air missiles.

Northrop Grumman's upgrades to the Hawk's baseline configuration include a new 640-by-480-pixel infrared sensor that will more than double the resolution of the current system, company officials say.

The upgrade also will include a new charged-coupled device camera that will increase resolution and enhance operation in low-light conditions. Upgrades include more reliable and sustainable electronics. All existing TAS, Improved TAS and Advanced Infrared TAS systems can be upgraded to the 4G TAS configuration.

The 4G TAS infrared sensor detects and tracks low, fast targets during the day and at night, and passes them to the Hawk's fire control radar.

The 4G TAS is a gimbaled, stabilized, high-resolution sensor that provides passive infrared search, track, launch, and pass-off capability for the Hawk air defense system. It can provide threat assessment and identification beyond visual range, providing real-time situational awareness, Northrop Grumman officials say.

For more information contact Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems online at www.northropgrumman.com.

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