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Tue, Dec 20, 2005

BAE Systems Completes Flight Tests Of F-22A Digital Electronic Warfare System

Will Be Installed In Raptors Beginning Next Year

BAE Systems' digital electronic warfare system (EW) has successfully completed the first phase of developmental flight tests on the U.S. Air Force's F -22A Raptor. The tests of the digital EW system were conducted aboard Raptor "4009" at Edwards Air Force Base, CA, over the past four months.

The flight tests are part of BAE Systems' F-22A Product Improvement Program. In 2004, Lockheed Martin -- the F-22A prime contractor -- selected BAE Systems' digital receiver technology as the baseline EW system for future production lots on the new Air Force fighter.

The digital EW system exploits breakthroughs in commercial analog-to-digital (ADC) technology and Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs). It replaces older analog receiver technology with reconfigurable digital receivers - providing cost, power, and weight savings for the F-22A.

"BAE Systems has met all of the digital EW program commitments and is delivering enabling technology to help the F-22A meet future war fighter mission needs," said John Paquet, director of Missions Systems and Software at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, to Aero-News.

"This Product Improvement Program will result in production cost savings in excess of $90 million for near-term production lots," said Bill Hill, Digital EW program manager for BAE Systems at Nashua, NH. "The new programmable digital hardware requires fewer unique parts, improves reliability, and substantially decreases the supportability cost."

The flight tests culminate a three-year engineering and manufacturing development effort. The new digital EW equipment will be introduced in BAE Systems' Lot 5 production deliveries, that will be incorporated on the aircraft beginning in 2006.

As was reported in Aero-News last week, the F-22A Raptor just received its initial operating capability sign-off, meaning the aircraft is now ready for operational deployment on the front lines throughout the world.

BAE's Product Improvement Program began as a company funded research and development effort, sponsored by the Aeronautical System Center at Ohio's Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, to build a wideband, channelized digital receiver. The success of that effort stimulated Congressional support for the cost-saving opportunity to fund a Defense Microelectronics Activity (DMEA) project to mature the implementation of the technology.

FMI: www.baesystems.com, www.f22-raptor.com

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