Army, Northrop Grumman, BAE move forward on next-generation JETS infantry targeting system

ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md.-Systems designers at two U.S. military electro-optics powerhouses are squaring off on the next phase of a program to develop the U.S. military's next-generation target-location and fire-support system.

The BAE Systems Electronic Systems segment in Nashua, N.H., and the Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems segment in Apopka, Fla., are getting ready to start full-scale development of the Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS) Target Location and Designation System (TLDS).

BAE Systems Electronic Systems and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems are ready to start full-scale development of the Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS) Target Location and Designation System (TLDS).
BAE Systems Electronic Systems and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems are ready to start full-scale development of the Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS) Target Location and Designation System (TLDS).

The U.S. Army Contracting Command at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., plans to issue a formal request for proposals for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the JETS TLDS. The Army established the program in 2009 as an Army, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Marine Corps initiative to develop and field a portable targeting system to enable infantry forward observers and tactical air controllers to call for fire from indirect munitions like JDAM and Excaliber, as well as call for close air support from all joint forces.

Among the goals of JETS is reducing friendly fire and collateral damage by helping soldiers differentiate between enemies, friendly forces, and civilians while working with satellite positioning and surveillance data. Military forces need a lightweight, handheld system for reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, target engagement, and fires coordination for infantry forces.

The Army will ask industry to design and build JETS prototypes as part of the program's full-scale development phase, which should last for about 2 ½ years, during which the winning contractor will be asked to deliver between five and 20 prototype JETS systems.

JETS has two major subcomponents: the Target Location Designation System (TLDS) and the Target Effects Coordination System (TECS). The TLDS helps infantrymen acquire targets quickly. The TECS sends targeting data to digital fire-control networks that direct artillery, missiles, and aircraft attacks. The JETS user first will identify his location and target, and then sends that data to battle command systems for calls for fire.

More information is available online at http://1.usa.gov/Q4PRyY.


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