C4iSR: Air

RFI issued for USAF CV-22B radar upgrade

14 March 2017
All 50 USAF CV-22Bs will be equipped with improved AN/APQ-187 SKR for terrain avoidance. Source: US Air Force

The US Air Force (USAF) is moving forward with plans to integrate the Raytheon AN/APQ-187 Silent Knight Radar (SKR) onto its Bell-Boeing CV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.

A request for information (RFI) for industry sources to provide support for the integration work was posted on the Federal Business Opportunities (FedBizOpps) website by the US Naval Air System Command's (NAVAIR's) V-22 Joint Program Office (PMA-275) on 9 March. The PMA-275 manages US Marine Corps' (USMC's) and USAF Special Operations Command's (AFSOC's) V-22 programmes.

The SKR upgrade is being implemented as part of the wider Block 30 enhancement for the CV-22B, which is the third major improvement for the CV-22 platform after the Block 10 and Block 20. The AN/APQ-187 SKR will replace the CV-22's current AN/APQ-186 multi-mode radar, which has diminishing manufacturing source (DMS) issues and rising ownership costs.

As noted by NAVAIR, this programme leverages the US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM)/160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) (SOAR [A]) SKR effort to reduce costs and maximise SKR commonality with other special operations forces (SOF) aircraft. Besides the CV-22B, the SKR has been developed to equip Boeing MH-47G Chinook, Sikorsky MH-60M, and Lockheed Martin MC-130H SOF platforms also.

All 50 CV-22Bs in the USAF inventory will be equipped with the new SKR, which was designed specifically for tiltrotor and helicopter applications. Jane's C4ISR & Mission systems: Air describes the SKR as having colour weather detection/weather intensity, moving map, and high-resolution terrain feature displays; digital processing; low probability-of-intercept/detection; and skin paint air vehicle detection/location and sea surface target detection modes.

In 2015 the USSOCOM awarded a USD42.2 million indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (ID/IQ) contract to provide lifecycle contractor support for the multi-mode radar, and SKR for the Technology Applications Program Office. The completion date has been estimated to be 30 June 2020. In May 2016 the USSOCOM awarded Raytheon an ID/IQ sole-source contract for no more than USD49.5 million for continued low-rate initial-production (LRIP) 1 of the SKR system, with completion of the contract expected by October 2018.

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