Maintain technological superiority over potential adversaries. That was the call to action from the Department of Defense (DoD) when it officially launched a strategic plan known as Future Vertical Lift (FVL) in 2009.
The FVL initiative aims to modernize the U.S. Army helicopter fleet. It is a challenging mission counting on aerospace and defense technology companies like BAE Systems to develop next-generation technologies that bring more lethal and survivable aircraft to the battlefield.
It is the type of work this company was built for. With a more than 60-year legacy of innovation and expertise in flight electronics, BAE Systems delivers full-spectrum electronic warfare (EW) - from radio frequency (RF) to electro-optical/infrared – and has fielded capabilities on nearly all U.S. Army aviation platforms.
And there’s more.
BAE Systems has a unique capability that sets it apart: a dedicated microelectronics organization, housed within its Electronic Systems sector.
Microelectronics is the design, manufacture, and use of very small, or microscopic, elements for use in the development of electronic components. It is one of the most in-demand fields of electronics because of a growing call for inexpensive and lightweight equipment in multiple industries.
The tiny microelectronics chips BAE Systems produces are having a big impact on the Army’s FVL initiative. The company currently provides technology that is only available through very limited sources in the U.S. BAE Systems’ ability to innovate and manufacture mission-critical microelectronics will keep FVL on track to deliver next-generation aircraft prototypes to the service by its target of 2025, making the company a critical bridge on the road to the future fleet.
BAE Systems is the partner that &closes the gap between state-of-the-art commercial technologies and unique DoD mission requirements. The company also strives to maintain the affordability, reliability, and effectiveness of those products while making sure they provide dominance over near peer threats.
One example of this: BAE Systems was awarded a $60 million contract from the U.S. Army to develop next-generation, radiation-hardened microelectronics components for military and space applications. The goal was to expand domestic access to state-of-the art microelectronics technology which is currently in limited supply, leading to backlogs in production.
In August, the Microelectronics team’s mission was reinforced by the passage of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) and Science Act. The bill appropriates $52 billion in semiconductor research, development, manufacturing and workforce development.
As a leading supplier of cross-platform systems and payloads, BAE Systems is both agile and trusted—and now firmly positioned as a liaison between our commercial and DoD industry teammates. As a proven systems integrator, the company also has the ability to bring technologies from multiple, frequently competing entities together to provide the government with state-of-the art solutions.
BAE Systems’ central role in the aerospace and defense electronics supply chain allows it to pioneer resilient solutions within a secure supply chain, with the ultimate goal of providing government customers quick-turn access to the latest technology needed for FVL, technology that will ultimately help bring service members safely home.