IDECM RFCM Scores More Test Completions; System Moves Forward in Development
NASHUA, NH, 25-APR-00 -- major test phase in the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures (IDECM) Radio Frequency Countermeasures (RFCM) program has been completed at the U.S. Navy's China Lake facility in California. A joint team of Naval aviators and testers, including developmental experts from NAS Patuxent River, Md., and from the Navy's Operational Test and Evaluation Forces concluded the final series of test flights in the Developmental Test and Operational Assessment (DT/OA) phase of the program in March. The Developmental Test and Operational Assessment is an important test series enroute to a Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) decision scheduled for November 2000. During the DT/OA phase, the IDECM RFCM system was mounted to an F/A-18D Avionics Test Bed aircraft that had been modified to incorporate F/A-18E/F avionics for jamming through off-board countermeasures. The Sanders-developed Fiber Optic Towed Decoy (FOTD) was deployed using a slow-deploy test pod on the fighter aircraft.
Test personnel conducted flights both with and without jamming to gather data on the effectiveness of the system. Early developmental flights demonstrated the effectiveness of the IDECM RFCM suite and its Fiber Optic Towed Decoy, with complete test results to be announced in 60 to 90 days.
Also in March, Sanders and teammate ITT Industries Avionics successfully completed Design Verification Testing (DVT) for the IDECM program. The DVT is a significant systems integration milestone involving in-depth evaluation of system operations, modes and interfaces. The DVT verified all of the IDECM's primary system characteristics -- including sensitivity, dynamic range, gain, and threat measurement capabilities.
This successful DVT is a great endorsement to the integration team, said John Lydiard, Sanders' Countermeasures Vice President and General Manager. It's a tribute to everyone involved in this very complex program that we continue ahead of our schedule set in mid-1999. The IDECM Engineering and Manufacturing Development program, which will provide Naval aviators with sophisticated countermeasure protection against advanced radar missiles, is now nearly 80 percent complete.
The IDECM RFCM system includes onboard receiver, processing system, and transmitters developed and manufactured by ITT Industries Avionics Division, and off-board countermeasures which include the Fiber Optic Towed Decoy and deployment canister developed by Sanders. This combination of high sensitivity receivers and off-board countermeasures will be deployed first on the Navy's F/A-18E/F aircraft, followed by the Air Force's B-1B bomber and F-15 fighter. Full rate production will begin in 2003.
Sanders is an operating company of the Lockheed Martin Corporation. Sanders is a major producer of aircraft self-protection systems and tactical surveillance and intelligence systems for all branches of the armed forces. Other major business areas include microwave, mission and space electronics, infrared imaging, and automated mission planning systems.