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PAS 2011: Selex eyes US expansion

21st June 2011 - 15:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Selex Galileo is eyeing future success in a major US Army countermeasures programme as one avenue for an expanded presence in the US.

The company is partnering with Northrop Grumman in pursuit of the army’s Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) competition, which is expected to select two teams for a technology demonstration phase later in 2011.

Speaking at a pre-Paris briefing in London, Selex Galileo executives said any production contract under the CIRCM project would require increased US-based support of its ECLIPSE pointer-tracker system.

‘The scope of production is huge and we would have to consider our production facilities in the UK, jointly with Northrop Grumman, to meet the demand – that is not an issue, we have the capacity to do that,’ said Bob Mason, Selex Galileo vice president, marketing and sales for radar and advanced targeting.

‘In terms of our support facility, we would have to look at that in the US. We already have support of DIRCM in the US, we would have to expand that to meet the army’s needs in the US and that is something we are talking to Selex Galileo Inc about at this point in time.’

The company has already seen an expansion of its Huntsville-based business following the success of its Aircraft Gateway Processor (AGP), which now comes as standard ‘A-kit’ on AH-64D Block II and III Apache attack helicopters.

The AGP controller is designed to integrate federated aircraft survivability sensors and countermeasures, providing a combined threat picture and prioritised response to flight crews.

Selex has received orders from Boeing for 360 AGP units and predicts orders for an additional 500 systems in coming years. The first AGP-equipped Apaches have already been delivered to the US Army and UAE Armed Forces for entry into service.

‘Clearly getting a small part of the total Apache system has been very important for the business. For export, that can either by run from America or from the UK. The AGP was essentially the integration of the HIDAS [Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids System] that has performed so well on UK Apaches in Afghanistan,’ said Steve Roberts, Selex Galileo vice president and chief technical officer for electronic warfare.

He said the company was currently looking at increasing the applications that were interoperable with the AGP, in addition to finding export customers for the system itself or the software that underpins it.

The company is also working towards flight trails later in 2011 of its Economic Compact Lightweight Pointer-Tracker System (ECLIPSE) pointer-tracker under the UK’s Common Defensive Aids System (CDAS) technology demonstration.

‘CDAS also gives us an opportunity to collaborate in wider programmes trans-nationally both in Europe and overseas – the Middle East is very interested and the US is interested in wider cooperation,’ Roberts said.

The Shephard News Team


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