JATAS Begins EMD Phase

by: Matthew Potter
August 4, 2011

Category: Business Line, development program, Editorial | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Navy awarded a team of companies a contract to begin the Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) of the Joint and Allied Threat Awareness System (JATAS). BAE System (BAE:LSE) and ATK (ATK) lead the team to transition this next generation aircraft threat detection system for fixed and rotary wing aircraft. The contract has an initial value of just over $100 million.

JATAS is designed to detect enemy threats including radars, lasers and missiles and then work with the countermeasure system installed on the aircraft to launch chaff or flares or try to jam the source. It will ultimately replace existing systems such as the AAR-47 made by ATK and currently used by the Navy.

The team was one of two awarded technology development contracts in 2009 for the JATAS. The Navy has now selected them to continue the program into the next stage of the acquisition process, EMD. This will take the technology concept developed and develop it so that it may begin low rate production and begin testing. Once that phase is completed in about 2015 the system should be ready for high rate production and installation on new Navy and Marine Corps aircraft such as the MV-22B, MH-60R, AH-1Z and UH-1Y.

These aircraft have been heavily used in Iraq and Afghanistan along with the Army’s helicopters where they faced a threat primarily from small arms and machine guns rather then advanced surface-to-air missiles or radars. In future conflicts against sophisticated opponents systems like JATAS will be needed to provide a measure of battlefield survivability against integrated air defense systems and man portable air defense systems.

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