(c) K.B. Sherman, 2002
Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems Sector has been awarded a $20M contract to provide its AAQ-24(V) Nemesis directional IR countermeasures (DIRCM) systems for the Australian “Wedgetail” AEW&C aircraft, a high modified Boeing 737-7000. The contract is the first foreign sale for the Nemesis system augmented with the Viper multiband laser and will be executed through BAES Australia. A joint cooperative program between the UK and US, the system uses IR laser energy to disrupt the guidance systems of even the most advanced infrared missiles. The systems’ number of transmitters, processors and MWS Systems is not releasable. Although the prime contractor for Project Wedgetail is Boeing, this contract was signed with BAE Systems Australia Limited, which is the electronic warfare self-protection suite supplier.
The Wedgetail airplanes will be equipped with Northrop Grumman Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) radar. Included in the platform are an advanced identification friend or foe (IFF) system; an expanded, passive surveillance system; and an integrated self-defense capability, of which Nemesis will be a key system. Wedgetail is being designed for complete air and surface target tracking interoperability with allied E-3 and 767 AWCS aircraft. While the number of Nemesis systems is not releasable, they are to be delivered by 2003, while the first two Wedgetail aircraft are expected to be subsequently delivered to the Commonwealth of Australia in 2006.