BAE Systems received its first Full Rate Production contract, worth $36.7 million, for its ALE-55 Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures subsystem from U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the company announced Wednesday.
"This is a great day for Naval aviation,” said Capt. Paul Overstreet, PMA-272 program manager of the NAVAIR Program Management team responsible for the system’s development. “The introduction of the ALE-55 into our Strike Fighter fleet is a crucial step forward in protecting our aircrews and accomplishing our mission."
The ALE-55 system consists of an onboard electronic frequency converter (EFC) and a fiber-optic towed decoy (FOTD). The EFC converts radio frequency signals sent from the plane’s electronic warfare system into data coded and transmitted via light to the fiber optic towed decoy. The award includes associated technical support and recurring engineering efforts associated with the order, as well as the additional manufacture of EFCs and FOTDs.
“This is a giant step forward,” said Mike Pepin, vice president and general manager of BAE's Survivability and Protection Systems business area. “The ALE-55 now is officially a program of record after two years of Low Rate Production. We’re extremely pleased and encouraged our proven technology is being recognized as an effective, affordable solution and being given the opportunity to protect our warfighters as they fly into harm’s way.”
Work on the contract will be performed in Nashua, N.H. (80.6 percent); Mountain View, Calif. (12 percent); and Chelmsford, Essex, United Kingdom (7.4 percent). Work is expected to be complete in summer 2013.