BY John Keller
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md.—U.S. Navy leaders gave the go-ahead to the Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK) Defense Electronics Systems segment in Clearwater, Fla., to begin full-scale development of a next-generation missile-warning system for Navy and Marine Corps assault support helicopters. Alliant Techsystems won a $109.2 million contract from U.S. Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., for engineering and manufacturing development of the Joint and Allied Threat Awareness System (JATAS).
|The JATAS missile-defense system will be designed to protect U.S. combat helicopters from shoulder-fired missiles.|
The JATAS missile-protection system has been under development by a team of ATK Defense Electronic Systems and the BAE Systems Electronic Solutions segment in Nashua, N.H. Navy officials chose the ATK/BAE Systems JATAS over a competing version developed by a team of the Lockheed Martin Corp. Missiles and Fire Control segment in Orlando, Fla.; DRS Infrared Technologies in Dallas; and Goodrich ISR Systems in Danbury, Conn.
JATAS is designed to protect Navy and Marine Corps helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft from enemy shoulder-fired missiles. The system detects incoming missiles, warns aircraft crews of the threat, and cues onboard countermeasures to fool incoming missiles and make them miss their targets.
The missile-protection system, which is designed to replace the ATK AN/AAR-47 Missile Approach Warning System, will go on the MV-22B tiltrotor aircraft; MH-60R, MH-60S, UH-1Y utility helicopters; the CH-53K heavy-lift helicopter; and the AH-1Z SuperCobra attack helicopter. Not only will JATAS protect military helicopters from shoulder-fired missiles, but it also will detect laser-guided weapons and hostile fire from small arms and rockets.
The ATK/BAE Systems team will do the work in Nashua, N.H.; Woodland Hills, Calif.; Clearwater, Fla.; Danbury, Conn.; Melbourne, Fla.; Dallas; and other sites in the U.S., and should be finished by 2015.