Curtain rises on ACT-IV – Shephard Media

Northrop Grumman tests ACT-IV for the AFRL and DARPA at the company radar range in Linthicum, Maryland. (Photo: Northrop Grumman).

DARPA, USAF and Northrop Grumman hope digital AESA will enhance operational flexibility.

Northrop Grumman announced on 31 August that it has delivered the Arrays at Commercial Timescales Integration and Validation (ACT-IV) system to DARPA and the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).

The multifunction digital AESA system completed multiple successful demonstrations and acceptance testing at a Northrop Grumman radar range.

By applying the flexibility of digital AESA, ACT-IV can perform radar, EW and communication functions simultaneously by controlling a large number of independent digital transmit/receive channels.

Development of ACT-IV marks a ‘breakthrough in AESA performance’ and ‘an important milestone in the nation’s transition to digitally reprogrammable multifunction radio frequency (RF) systems’, said William Phillips, director of multifunction systems at Northrop Grumman.

He added that capabilities in the new system ‘will be used to enhance the next generation of integrated circuits and AESAs that are currently in our digital AESA product pipeline’.

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