With the impending retirement of the ES-3A, the Navy's carrier battle groups will lose the main player in their BGPHES
- to authorize an increase of $1 million to the $1.9 million DOD request to support continued surface-terminal R&D.
As described by LCDR Mark Phillips, the deputy program manager, the BGPHES is a real-time reconnaissance and information warfare system designed to expand the situational "horizon" for battlegroup or joint task force commanders.
The Navy undertook the BGPHES effort to expand the mission of the E-S3A (the battlegroup's organic SIGINT aircraft), shifting on-board control of the airborne payload and processing of its data to a surface terminal on an aircraft carrier or amphibious assault ship.
In November 1993, to turn the languishing effort around, Program Director CAPT Charles Ristorcelli made what industry and military officials close to the program have called "a really smart, smart move": he decided to import government off-the-shelf Air Force software into the BGPHES surface terminal.
* Navy: EW Technology (PE 0602270N), $18,341 in FY96 and $20,836 in FY97; Advanced EW Technology (PE 0603270N), $14,532 in FY96 and $16,844 in FY97; EW Development (PE 0604270), $87,440 in FY96 and $112,512 in FY97; BGPHES
(PE 0604721N), $7,600 in FY96 and $4,995 in FY97; Navy Space EW Support (PE 0605866N), $3,638 in FY96 and $3,647 in FY97; SEW Surveillance/Recon Support (PE 0605867N), $12,134 in FY96 and $12,341 in FY97.
The ES-3A will replace the EA-3B, providing organic tactical EW and reconnaissance capabilities in support of the carrier battle group; it will also serve as the airborne component of the Battle Group Passive Horizon Extension System (BGPHES