Air Force, Harris advance electronic warfare

The Air Force has awarded Harris Corporation a potential three-year, $91 million contract to build electronic warfare suites.

In today’s radar-jamming, infrared-imaging world, new aircraft and missile systems must possess sophisticated electronic warfare capabilities. Older systems that lack such technologies risk a premature relegation to the scrapyard.

To combat this stagnation, the Air Force has awarded Harris Corporation a potential three-year, $91 million contract to build electronic warfare suites for several foreign militaries fighters.

Contract terms indicate that the New Jersey-based company will design and build AN/ALQ-211(V)4/8/9 Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Suite (AIDEWS) systems. Capabilities include radar warning and radio frequency countermeasures.

According to Harris, the ALQ-21 is simply a small pod strapped to the underside of a fighter wing. However, it plays a large role in ensuring the aircraft’s safety and threat evaluation.

Technicians can install the ALQ-21’s Line Replaceable Units in place of the AIDEWS internal system. This interchangeability provides a sorely needed update to legacy aircrafts lugging around outdated electronic warfare technologies.

 Harris is no stranger to defense contracts for electronic systems, having designed, developed, and deployed many electronic systems for the military. Earlier this year, the Air Force awarded the New Jersey-based company a $55 million contract to redesign the radar-busting ALQ-172 Line Replaceable Unit.

The company will also produce software and associated support equipment for customers of the Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program, an Air Force body that provides members with electronic combat equipment installation and sustainment. Other efforts include AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispensing systems for AIDEWS (V)4 users, ALE-47 threat adaptive countermeasure dispensing systems for AIDEWS (V)8 users, and the associated support equipment.

The work — located in Clifton, New Jersey — should wrap up by Nov. 2019. Contract terms indicate that Harris will sell the electronic systems to multiple foreign armies, with Morocco slated for the first sale. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center is the contracting activity.