The TADIRCM program is not in the Navy's budget yet, but Crane officials anticipate funding will be available in fiscal year 2006.
If the TADIRCM development is successful, the technology could transition to commercial aircraft, Lohkamp said.
The US Navy, with the support of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, is in the process of developing its TADIRCM program.
The most likely scenario for the TADIRCM competition would pit BAE Systems' Agile Eye-based system against the Northrop Grumman (Rolling Meadows, IL) Wanda system, based upon its AN/AAO-24(V) Nemesis (see "Pointing the Heat," JED, September 2000, p.
Having demonstrated itself at White Sands, the TADIRCM
program for the US Navy is preparing to take on its own milestones.
TADIRCM is a laser-based countermeasures system, developed by Sanders, the Naval Research Laboratory and the Electronic Warfare Advanced Technology (EWAT) program at NAVAIRSYSCOM.
Along with the initial goal of reducing the drag and radar-cross-section (RCS) penalties associated with the jam heads employed by the Advanced Threat IR Countermeasures (ATIRCM) system (see "TADIRCM Takes Flight," JED, September 1999, p.
Raytheon has also developed its own microgimbal system, which is said to be smaller than the Agile Eye pointer/tracker employed in the TADIRCM
system (see "Protecting Large Aircraft," JED, September 1999).
For this latest round of tests, which took place in October, Sanders' TADIRCM
system was mounted on a cable car.
system is a US Navy Advanced Tactical Demonstration (ATD), the goal of which is to demonstrate directed IRCM functions tailored to the F/A-18E/F environment.
LAIRCM's goals may be noble, but it is worth noting that they are more ambitious than either the Navy's TADIRCM
program, which includes 2-color missile warning, but only at a 128x128 pixel resolution, and makes use of open-loop techniques.
NAVAIR officials describe TADIRCM
as a Navy ATD that leverages off the Army's ATIRCM program.