U.S. Navy aerial warfare systems designers needed special circular antenna arrays for the AN/UPX-29(V) identification-friend-or-foe (IFF) interrogator system aboard surface warships that distinguishes friendly vessels and aircraft nearby during combat operations. They found their military antenna solution from the BAE Systems Electronic Systems Sector in Nashua, N.H.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., have awarded BAE Systems a $9.2 million contract to provide five OE-120(A) electronically steerable antenna (ESA) groups suitable for the Ticonderoga-class cruiser (CG 47), the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer (DDG 51), the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship (LHD 1), the San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock (LPD 17), aircraft carriers, and the Japanese Kongo-class destroyer (FMS DD 173)-a version of the U.S. Burke-class destroyer.
The AN/UPX-29 shipboard interrogator is a centralized IFF system that employs a challenge and reply technique to distinguish friendly platforms in a multi-target environment.
The BAE Systems OE-120 antenna group is an electronically steerable antenna that shipboard operators can redirect within 50 microseconds to interrogate any target on the horizon. The antenna array supports IFF interrogator as well as air traffic control beacon systems, and is designed for surface ships and land-based installations.
At the heart of the OE-120 is the AS-3134/UPX antenna array, which consists of 64 vertical radiating dipole antenna element pairs arranged in a circle on the ship's mast. The system uses electronic beam steering to scan all areas around the ship. The dipole antenna element pairs can produce either directional or omnidirectional beam patterns.
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