BATTLESPACE Exhibition News
sponsored by Northrop Grumman
ITT TECHNOLOGY FACILITATES GLOBAL SECURITY IN DEFENSE
03 Sep 09. Geopolitical events during the first decade of the 21st Century—ranging from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to piracy off the Horn of Africa—have clearly illustrated to free nations that their national security is dependent upon a strong defense.
That reality is driving defense procurement around the world, and also provides the theme for this year’s Defense Systems & Equipment International (DSEi) conference: Global Security in Defense. ITT Corporation has been a long-time partner with many of the world’s most sophisticated and well-equipped military forces, and has helped them leverage the advanced communications and sensing/surveillance technologies necessary to protect vital national interests.
Among the most critical of ITT’s latest systems and services, on display at DSEi in September, include its counter-IED systems. These rapidly-developed systems jam radio signals to prevent the detonation of radio-controlled improvised explosive devices. To enable communication in jamming environments, ITT has produced interference mitigation systems that allow communication and data exchange.
The following sections go into more details on the technologies that ITT will be showing at this year’s DSEi.
Earlier this year, ITT submitted the Soldier Radio Waveform 1.0C to the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) library just two years after contract award. It is the first waveform specifically designed for JTRS to be delivered to the repository and represents the reference waveform functionality for performance, networking and porting onto various radio types. ITT has been running this full waveform on its Wearable Soldier Radio Terminal and it is now beginning porting to hardware produced by others in the JTRS program.
ITT successfully demonstrated the porting of the JTRS Bowman Waveform (JBW) to a handheld software defined radio resulting in over-the-air compatibility between the ITT developed Soldier Radio and the UK’s Advance Digital Radio Plus (ADR+).
Since the demonstration of SpearNet, a small handheld radio, at DSEi 2007, ITT has received positive reviews from customers evaluating this advanced system, which provides self-forming, self-healing ad-hoc networking with multi-hop routing of both voice and data capability. This makes it applicable for many of today’s non-line-of-sight combat environments such as caves and buildings. The system enables the radio to gain extended range retransmitting a message over several radios in a daisy chain. SpearNet also has a high data rate of more than one megabit per second, enabling transfer of real-time video. A number of potential, international potential customers have expressed interest in SpearNet.
ITT has long been one of the world leaders in wireless networking for tactical military and government systems, and is the largest provider of military VHF, Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System (SINCGARS), ATCS systems, and the UK Bowman VHF and UHF radios. For example, ITT Defence Limited in Basingstoke, UK, has now produced more than 50,000 tactical radios. The division was recently awarded a contract by General Dynamics, UK, to produce additional radios for the Bowman program.
More than 500,000 of ITT’s tactical communications systems are in use by more than 34 countries. SINCGARS, for example, is the world's most widely deployed, secure tactical radio system, and more than 450,000 units have been sold to U.S. and international militaries. ITT recently won the latest U.S. Army competitively bid contract award for 58,000 SINCGARS radios and ancillary products. At completion of this contract, ITT will have delivered more than 500,000 SINCGARS units to the U.S. Army.
ITT has also developed SideHat technology to be a bridge between the large, modern SINCGARS installed base and the future Joint Tactical Radio System. SideHat connects to the SINCGARS and provides the user with a second channel to run the JTRS Soldier Radio Waveform (produced by ITT) or other waveforms in addition to the SINCGARS waveform. All SINCGARS in recent years have been manufactured with the capability to add SideHat. More than 200,000 of the existing SINCGARS were produced in the last three years with the capability of adding SideHat at a reasonable cost.
In addition, ITT is an Iridium Satellite Value Added Manufacturer. The company develops complete end-to-end system solutions utilizing Iridium's voice, data, and messaging services. ITT provides network-centric, two-way, real-time global communications systems in addressing over-the-horizon, beyond line-of-sight communication needs. Products include NexTrak GPS Global Messenger, CUTLASS, and Distributed Tactical Communication System.
Sensing and Surveillance
ITT comes to DSEi on the heels of a number of recent contracts awards for sensing and surveillance systems.
In August, the company received $43 million in follow-on orders from the U.S. Army’s Research, Development and Engineering Command Acquisition Center for the Enhanced Night Vision Goggle (ENVG), and associated spare parts. ENVG optically fuses an image intensification image, and proven thermal infrared technology, allowing for improved mobility and situational awareness—through clear target detection and improved target recognition. The ENVG combines the strengths of both technologies into one helmet-mounted unit, allowing warfighters to complete their missions in low light or obscured conditions.
The UK Ministry of Defense recently awarded a $16.6m order to ITT Defense for a Head Mounted Night Vision System (HMNVS). This order is a follow-on order to the $23m contract that was awarded to ITT in August 2008 to continue to supply the UK military with HMNVS and in-support services.
The HMNVS is the MoD’s variant of the AN/PVS-14, which is deployed with the U.S. military and homeland security agencies. The HMNVS is a lightweight, single-battery monocular equipped with ITT’s Generation 3 night vision technology, the most advanced night vision technology available today. Gen 3 goggles last in excess to 10,000 hours, compared to the Gen 2 tubes, which last approximately 2,000 to 4,000 hours.
ITT has also won a $29m award to continue upgrade work on its AN/SPS-48 radar system, which enables 3-D surveillance for Navy ground-based and shipboard use. The contract is part of a nearly $200 million program designed to give the radar system advanced capabilities that will keep them in service until 2045.
As the tempo of military operations increase, and government funding becomes increasingly challenged, ITT has made a strategic decision to increase its customer-focused support by providing complete contractor management for night vision requirements that include: night vision goggles and tubes; night vision weapon sights; all associated operator and maintenance training; and contracting for availability.
This new focus on offering total night vision systems solutions is a result of customer input, ITT cross-business initiatives, a robust and lean supply chain team, and a recognition that defense procurement agencies are limited in both financial resources and personal to oversee acquisition, management and logistics for their existing night vision requirements.
One area of defense procurement where funding continues to remain strong, however, is in the acquisition of countermeasure systems. ITT supplies a number of important systems in this area.
Under a Defensive Infrared Countermeasures (DIRCM) contract from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratories, ITT’s internally-developed IRCM system will undergo tests on its unit. From this testing (including other candidate systems), the baseline for a new generation of infrared countermeasure systems will result. Both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy have shown interest in these new developments. There are also commercial applications for this system.
A first-round study has been completed on the Next-Generation Jammer. This program will upgrade the U.S. Navy’s support Jamming capabilities; the new system will be resident on the Navy’s new E-18G Growler aircraft. ITT has teamed with airframer Boeing on this pursuit. The program has moved to the technical maturity phase, with contract award expected in March 2010.
Measures to counter improvised explosive devices continue to evolve, with ITT maintaining its leadership in development and production of systems. The Counter Radio-controlled Electronic Warfare (CREW) 3.3 will move counter IED technology from a platform to a networked approach, and develop new equipment for soldier-carried and riverine applications. A contract award is anticipated shortly.
ITT is also manufacturing the Mobile Multi-Band Jammer 2.1, a field-proven, mounted countermeasures unit designed for use against radio controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and all currently identified RF threats in dense urban electromagnetic environments. MMBJ 2.1 is a CREW 2.1 system delivered to the Naval Sea Systems Command and Program Executive Office for Littoral and Mine Warfare. Thousands of MMBJ 2.1 units have been fielded to date in its three-plus year deployment history due to reliability, performance and simple operations and maintenance.
In addition, ITT produces the CREW Vehicle Receiver Jammer (CVRJ), which has been used to neutralize roadside IEDs, for all U.S. defense services. ITT is under contract for more than 25,000 of these systems, many of which have been produced and are in the field.
Also in the jamming arena, several militaries in Asia and the Middle East are interested in the ALQ-136 electronic warfare countermeasure system, which is currently in use on the U.S. Army’s AH-64 Apache.
Interference Cancellation technology is under contract for the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 and U.S. Marine Corps CV-22, with potential Coast Guard applications. The system enables communications between allied platforms in a jamming environment.
DSEi always has a strong contingent of naval systems on display and ITT brings a 60-year history of designing, manufacturing, and deploying solutions for the U.S. and allied navies. Key technologies include shipboard sonar, underwater communications equipment, and command and control systems.
ITT’s active and passive sonar systems are designed to counter submarine threats, and Models 997 and ALOFTS 980 (Active Low Frequency Towed System) are in-service with multiple navies. These systems apply advanced underwater acoustic technologies and innovative data acquisition, processing and display systems.
The company’s transducers, arrays and underwater communication systems are designed for a wide range of submarine and surface ship applications, including ASW warfare and training, undersea weapons, underwater communications and depth sounding.
Then there are command and control/data link applications for Exclusive Economic Zone patrol, search and rescue, and undersea warfare applications. Command Management Information Systems (CMIS) integrate a ship’s positioning, sensor information and mission planning into a comprehensive, real-time tactical picture. And data link systems support a variety of operational needs for secure and controlled communication including navigation, surveillance, and fire control systems.
Finally, ITT also has an active business in commercial/military ceramics and value-added assemblies for naval, medical and industrial and safety applications. Utilizing in-house manufacturing capabilities, ITT produces a broad range of piezoelectric materials. Commercial ceramics and value-added products are used in a range of medical devices, industrial sonar applications, first-responder alarms, and oil and gas drilling systems. Naval applications include underwater acoustic arrays and systems for underwater navigation and communication.
Exhibitions News Index