July 12, 2017 (by Paul Roberts) - The U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has selected BAE Systems to provide new electronic warfare (EW) systems for its fleet of AC/MC-130J aircraft.
BAE Systems will upgrade the aircraft’s survivability equipment with the capability to detect, identify, locate, deny, degrade, disrupt, and defeat various threats that aircrews encounter in hostile and challenging environments.
This final selection follows a competition that included a system design phase and critical technology demonstration. The company received a $67 million contract modification to a competitively awarded contract. This new phase of the program is for the systems integration and installation of the EW systems — all to be conducted over the next 30 months. The contract's total value, including all options, is expected to exceed $300 million.
"With our all-digital system, we're leveraging the latest, most advanced EW technology to create a highly mission-customized solution so that SOCOM's fleet remains capable and protected in the harshest of environments," said Brian Walters, vice president and general manager of Electronic Combat Solutions at BAE Systems. "This award builds on our strong EW legacy and extends our proven capability to large fixed-wing aircraft."
Designed to be integrated into both the Air Force's AC-130J Ghostrider and MC-130J Commando II aircraft, the company's Radio Frequency Countermeasure (RFCM) system supports varied and critical Special Operation Forces missions, including armed over-watch, helicopter refueling, close air support, and interdiction in contested territory.
With this new system, BAE Systems expands the operational capabilities of the AC/MC-130J, allowing it to detect and defeat both surface and airborne threats. The RFCM system is a platform-level solution with fully integrated situational awareness, precision geo-location, and radio frequency countermeasure capabilities. The system penetrates modern integrated air defense systems, providing the fleet with rapid response capabilities to protect the aircrew.