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Jamming Systems Drive $28Bn Electronic Warfare Market

by Staff Writers
Newtown CN (SPX) Jan 24, 2006
The development and production of leading EW systems will represent a $28 billion market over the next 10 years, according to Forecast International's "The Market for Electronic Warfare Systems." Included among these systems are the jammers, radar warning receivers (RWRs), electronic support measure (ESM) systems, and missile countermeasure systems that are in high demand by military forces worldwide.

"BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman are among the top producers of the EW technology covered in this analysis, being major developers of key jammers, RWRs and ESM systems for new aircraft such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), the F-22A Raptor, and the replacement for the U.S. Navy's EA-6B Prowler, the EA-18G Growler," said Andrew Dardine, Forecast International Defense Electronics Analyst.

EW systems produced by top-ranked BAE Systems are also being installed, or are about to be installed, on a significant number of helicopters and military transport aircraft. The company's involvement in these critical areas as well as development of important countermeasure systems gives it a projected 10-year market share of 24.7 percent, representing an estimated value of $6.9 billion.

Like BAE Systems, Northrop Grumman retains a high ranking in this analysis because of its involvement in some of the most important missile countermeasures systems in the development pipeline. The Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures System (LAIRCM) is currently intended for C-17, C-130, C-5, KC-135, and Boeing 737 Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft, and is in consideration for an even wider selection of aircraft.

Based on current plans, the system represents a potential 10-year value of some $412.5 million for the company. Likewise, an estimated 186 units of the company's ALQ-218, an important RWR system and the heart of the EA-18G Growler are expected to be produced during the forecast period, at a projected value of $979.6 million.

"An important trend that will likely set the tone for the decades ahead is the development of integrated EW suites for new aircraft," Dardine said. "Military planners are likely to continue to be drawn to the advantages in space and weight savings achieved by having multiple functions housed in a single, comprehensive system of systems." Notable among these suites is the BAE Systems ALR-94 for the F-22A Raptor which will have the ability to penetrate enemy airspace and achieve "first-look, first-kill" capability against multiple targets.

Large, expensive programs like the Raptor, however, have become huge targets for defense planners in the United States. Based on the FY06 U.S. defense budget, F-22A funding is expected to end in FY08, and the total number to be procured has been cut back to 179. The threat of additional cuts to this and other programs will likely loom large and is expected to have a significant impact on the overall direction of the EW market in the years ahead.

Besides BAE Systems, the other major international players in this analysis include Thales, Sweden's SaabTech and Israel's Elta Electronics. Israel continues to demonstrate its major player status in the EW market. The company's EL/L-8222 jamming system continues to be used in upgraded Israeli Air Force F-15 fighters, and is also evidently being picked up by such nations as Venezuela and Australia. More than 200 additional EL/L-8222 systems, having a projected value of some $345.6 million, will be produced to meet the needs of various international upgrade programs.

Related Links
Forecast International
BAE Systems

UK-French Initiative On Lightweight Radar Breaks Ground For Defence R&T
Brussels, Belgium (SPX) Jan 26, 2006
The European Defence Agency today welcomed the announcement by France and the United Kingdom that they would examine together a project on technology for lightweight radars suitable for use on small platforms, such as UAVs and missiles, which could be quickly brought to the European Defence Agency for development.

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