Northrop Grumman Corporation has announced that it will receive one of two contracts to develop an Affordable Moving Surface Target Engagement (AMSTE) capability.
The one-year, $12 million project will be funded by the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Special Projects Office.
Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems Sector (ISS) will build an experimental system that will network airborne target indication sensors to continuously and precisely track moving ground targets and utilise low-cost weapons to engage them.
Northrop’s goal is to develop a system that will have long-duration surface tracking capabilities, improved sensors working within a network and the ability to use a variety of munitions in combat situations.
According to a statement from Northrop Grumman, the ISS concept will encompass current and new Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) technologies and the capabilities of the new Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) radar developed by Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector.
If successful, the system will allow for multiple weapons and sensors to work within the AMSTE system grid to precisely track, target and destroy mobile surface targets without collateral damage.
The system, which will be tested later this year, will see the Joint STARS radar networked with a JSF surrogate radar. It is envisaged that these radars, working in concert, will provide precision tracks to a guided weapon supplied by Lockheed Martin’s Missile Fire and Control Unit.