Under this contract, Leidos will provide the Army with ARL-E design, architecture engineering, configuration management, system integration, testing, and technical and logistics support. It is one of the first major contracts to be awarded under the ARL-E procurement, which the Army first began budgeting in its FY15 requests. The system, based on the Q400 (DHC-8) platform, will eventually replace the older DHC-7-based ARL-M. Eight or nine ARL-Es are eventually expected to be produced, with system deliveries stretching into the early 2020s. An optimistic forecast schedule will not see the first ARL-E delivery until 2018.
In related developments, in September, Northrop Grumman was selected by the Army to begin development of a new Synthetic Aperture Radar/Ground Moving Target Indicator (SAR/GMTI) system for the ARL-E, known as the Long-Range Radar (LRR). At the time, Steve McCoy, vice president of tactical sensor solutions at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, said, “Our low-risk, affordable solution combines mature active electronically scanned array [AESA] technology with operationally proven hardware and software to meet all-weather and long-range ISR requirements.”
Northrop Grumman’s LRR will combine aspects of the company’s Generation 2 Vehicle and Dismount and Exploitation Radar (VADER) back-end electronics and software with a new AESA. This approach ensures that Northrop Grumman can meet the rapid pace of ARL-E platform development as currently outlined by the Army. By using the core electronics of an in-use, field-tested system in combination with a new T/R array, Northrop Grumman’s testing period will be shortened considerably. VADER’s software and hardware will only need to be calibrated or scaled to function optimally with the new array’s characteristics.
A fully updated Airborne Reconnaissance Low program report is available as part of Forecast International’s Airborne Electronics Forecast, C4I Forecast, and Electro-Optical Systems Forecast books. Coverage is also included as a part of certain key modules within Forecast International’s revolutionary Platinum Forecast System™ 2.0. In Platinum, users can gain access to Forecast International’s industry-leading forecast database with added customizable charts and graphs, as well as data tables and program reports, all updated on an hourly basis.