USAF launches E-3 replacement effort, notes E-7 intent

by Gareth Jennings

Seen here in Australian service, the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail is being lined up by the US Air Force as a replacement for its ageing E-3 Sentry AWACS fleet. (DVIDS)

The US Air Force (USAF) has launched an effort to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft, with the intent of fielding the same company's E-7 Wedgetail.

The USAF issued a notice of contract action, titled ‘E-3 Replacement Aircraft Studies & Analyses', on 19 October, in which it announced it is to sole-source Boeing to perform studies, analyses, and activities required to ascertain the E-7A baseline configuration, and to determine what additional work the US government might need to accomplish meeting the USAF configuration standards and mandates.

“The Aircraft Rapid Prototyping Requirements Document has specifically called out the E-7A, and it has been determined that this is a sole-source requirement,” the USAF said.


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AFRL pursues multispectral threat warning under EOS-DEW

by Richard Scott

The US Air Force has launched an effort to develop and demonstrate prototype advanced integrated threat warning system technologies to address multispectral guided missiles, hostile fire, and directed energy weapon systems.

Led by the Air Force Research Laboratory's (AFRL's) Sensors Directorate, the Electro-Optic Sensing Defensive Electronic Warfare (EOS-DEW) programme is intended to mature integrated multispectral threat warning solutions combining missile sensing, laser sensing, and hostile fire sensing, while also advancing test and developmental risk reduction methodologies. The latter includes exploring new techniques for multispectrum simulation, multithreat simulation, and sensing technology evaluation, together with enhanced testing and evaluation techniques to support research and development.

According to a EOS-DEW call released on 30 November, the diverse nature of the missile threat requires exploiting various sensing techniques and early launch detection, requiring “continual improvements in missile warning sensor architectures, exploiting different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum”.

It continued, “Directed energy threat detection, on the other hand, requires laser detection schemes containing multiple discriminants. The relative fidelity of coherence, wavelength, direction-of-arrival, geolocation, fluence, and pulse processing discriminants is dictated by the threat spaces of interest and drives the complexity of warning sensor architectures to satisfy hand-off requirements for protection countermeasures.”


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Brazilian Army mulls loitering munitions and armed UAVs

by Victor Barreira

The Brazilian Army uses the hand-launched FT-100 fixed-wing ISTAR tactical UAV for different applications. (FT SISTEMAS S/A)

The Brazilian Army is seeking to adopt unmanned combat tactical effectors such as loitering munitions and armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The army is conducting preliminary studies that are expected to culminate with the publication of requirements for such systems over the next few years, Lieutenant Colonel Leonardo Gomes Saraiva, Army High-Staff supervisor of the Subprogram Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (SPrg SARP), told Janes .

Acquiring loitering munitions is planned for the short term, while the Category 0, 1, 2, or 4 armed UAVs with beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) capability are to be procured in a short to medium term.

The SPrg SARP, part of the Army Strategic Program Obtaining Full Operational Capability (Prg EE OCOP), is aimed at acquiring unmanned systems for roles such as intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance (ISTAR); electronic signals intelligence (ELINT); communications intelligence; logistics, fire support and command-and-control, and to support the Brazilian Defence Technological and Industrial Base. Final administrative activities to formally establish the SPrg SARP will occur in 2022, Lt Coronel Saraiva said.


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Increasing availability key to future A400M sales, Airbus official

by Gareth Jennings

Airbus notes that availability of its A400M remains an issue for current and prospective users, and that the company is committed to addressing outstanding problems. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Airbus needs to improve the availability of its A400M Atlas if it is to build on the transport aircraft's recent export successes, a senior company official said on 30 November.

Speaking at the virtual Airbus Trade Media Briefing (TMB) 2021, Michael Schoellhorn, the CEO of the Airbus Defence and Space division, said that poor availability remains an issue for the A400M, but that the issue is being addressed as the company looks to build on the first two export contracts for 15 years that it secured during recent months.

“There is still something to be done and improved around availability – we are very aware of that, and I have made this a part of my time every day to look at that,” Schoellhorn told Janes


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The US Air Force (USAF) has launched an effort to replace its ageing fleet of Boeing E-3 Sentry Airb...

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