Mercury gets another order for radar-spoofing airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems

LAKEHURST, N.J., 3 June 2015. U.S. Navy airborne electronic warfare (EW) experts are asking the Mercury Defense Systems (MDS) subsidiary of Mercury Systems Inc. in Cypress, Calif., to build 14 additional electronic radar-spoofing devices under terms of a $7.6 million order announced Tuesday.

Navy taps Mercury for advanced research in DRFM-based airborne electronic warfare (EW)
Navy taps Mercury for advanced research in DRFM-based airborne electronic warfare (EW)
LAKEHURST, N.J., 3 June 2015. U.S. Navy airborne electronic warfare (EW) experts are asking the Mercury Defense Systems (MDS) subsidiary of Mercury Systems Inc. in Cypress, Calif., to build 14 additional electronic radar-spoofing devices under terms of a $7.6 million order announced Tuesday.

Officials of the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, N.J., are asking Mercury to provide 14 Type II Advanced Techniques for Digital Radio Frequency Memories (DRFM) units.

The Mercury Airborne 1225 ruggedized air-cooled, airborne 3-bit miniaturized digital RF memory (DRFM) was developed for airborne, pod, and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications with as much bandwidth as 1200 MHz. It is self-contained with internal techniques and RF and power supplies.

Mercury won a $2.6 million DRFM order from the Navy last October, and a $1.5 million Navy order for this technology in June 2014. All these DRFM orders are part of a contract worth as much as $56.7 million, Mercury officials say.

DRFM technology has several features. First, it provides coherent time delay of RF signals in applications like radar and electronic warfare. It also produces coherent deception jamming to a radar system by replaying a captured radar pulse with a small delay, which makes the target appear to move.

Related: Mercury to provide Navy with additional DRFM radar-spoofing jammers in $2.6 million order

DRFM also can modulate captured pulse data in amplitude, frequency, and phase to provide other affects. A Doppler shift correlates range and range rate trackers in the radar. DRFM also can replay captured radar pulses many times to fool the radar into perceiving many targets.

Small packages, fast response, and large volumes of low-latency compute power define modern DRFM evolution, Mercury officials say. The company's latest DRFM technology produces modules as thin as 0.44 inches, and capitalizes on direct digital synthesizer (DDS) local oscillator (LO) technology.

DDS delivers sub-microsecond tuning speeds over a wide bandwidth, while advanced circuit design and simulation helps reduce spurious, inter-module and phase noise.

The Mercury 1225 DRFM has more than 15 dBc worst-case spurious suppression across the entire band with typical spurs of more than 19 dBc. The Airborne 1225 has storage for as many as 48 user-defined deception programs.

Related: Navy and Air Force choose DRFM jammers from Mercury Systems to help spoof enemy radar

"The continued technology advancements are designed to keep pace with the evolving threats and ensure U.S. aircrews are being properly trained prior to engagements in combat environments," says Brian Perry, president of Mercury Defense Systems.

Electronic countermeasures techniques for pipeline, stretched pulse including synthetic continuous wave, and multiple false target modes are defined through the device's user interface.

The unit has one RF converter, one converter/memory, and one system controller; three bit phase encoding at 1.2 GHz instantaneous bandwidth; can program each false target for range, Doppler, and bi-phase; can track as many as four emitters; and offers internal techniques against two to four emitters.

For the contract announced Tuesday, Mercury will do the work in Cypress, Calif., and should be finished by December 2016. For more information contact Mercury Defense Systems online at www.mrcy.com/defense_systems, or the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division-Lakehurst at www.navair.navy.mil.

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