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DARPA extends cognitive electronic warfare development contract

Adaptive radar countermeasures artist concept
DARPA has awarded BAE Systems a $13.3 million contract modification to extend its work on the Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) project. 

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded BAE Systems a $13.3 million contract modification to extend its work on the Adaptive Radar Countermeasures (ARC) project. The ARC program’s goal is to enable airborne electronic warfare (EW) systems to counter new, unknown, and adaptive radars in real time.

Current EW systems are limited in their ability to quickly adapt to new and advanced threats because they rely on a database of known threats with predefined countermeasures. To ensure mission success in future anti-access/area denial environments, EW systems will need to isolate unknown hostile radar signals in dense electromagnetic environments, and then rapidly generate effective electronic countermeasures. The cognitive EW technologies developed for the ARC program employ advanced signal processing, intelligent algorithms, and machine learning techniques.

Under the contract modification, for Phase 3 of the ARC program, BAE Systems will perform work that includes the planned completion of algorithm development, advanced readiness testing, and key milestones for transitioning the ARC technologies to critical airborne warfare platforms, such as fifth-generation fighter jets.

“The Phase 3 award from DARPA recognizes the progress our team delivered at the end of Phase 2,” said Louis Trebaol, ARC program manager at BAE Systems. “In Phase 2, we successfully demonstrated the ability to characterize and adaptively counter advanced threats in a closed-loop test environment. We will now continue to mature the technology and test it against the most advanced radars in the U.S. inventory in order to successfully transition this important technology to the warfighter.”

DARPA’s contract modification for Phase 3 brings the cumulative value of BAE Systems’ ARC contract to $35.5 million. The program is being developed within BAE Systems, which researches, develops, and deploys cutting-edge technology across multiple warfare and intelligence domains. Work will be performed at the company’s facilities in Nashua, New Hampshire and Burlington, Massachusetts.

Ref. No. 155/2016