By B.C. Kessner

ATK [ATK] has received a $67-million Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract from the Navy for the production of AAR-47 Missile Warning System Weapon Replaceable Assemblies (WRAs).

“There is no greater accomplishment than providing the warfighter with a reliable, battle-proven, low-cost, missile and laser warning capability,” Matt Lehtonen, deputy program manager for the PMA-272 Aircraft Survivability Equipment Branch at the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), said Wednesday in a statement.

ATK’s AAR-47 is an electronic warfare system designed to protect helicopters and aircraft against surface-to-air missile threats.

It also alerts aircrews to threats from laser-guided and laser-aided weapons.

“ATK’s AAR-47 is a combat-proven, aircraft survivability system credited with saving numerous military aircrew lives and aircraft from attack,” Bill Kasting, vice president and general manager of ATK Defense Electronics Systems, said. “We develop and deliver affordable and reliable electronic warfare systems that protect U.S. and allied military aircrews flying in harm’s way.”

The AAR-47 is installed on aircraft flown by the United States and its allies in more than 16 countries. The systems are installed on more than 2,600 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft including the C-5, C-17, C-130, P-3, AH-1W, HH/UH-60, CH-46, MH-47E, UH-1N, V-22, and others.

The award encompasses production of new and retrofit components, including optical sensors, control indicators and computer processors.

ATK expects to make the first delivery on this IDIQ contract in about 15 months, a company spokesman told Defense Daily yesterday. ATK has delivered various configurations of AAR-47 for about 20 years.

In September 2009, ATK and Lockheed Martin [LMT] won separate competitive contracts for the technology demonstration phase of the Joint and Allied Threat Awareness System (JATAS) next generation missile warning system to be installed on Navy and Marine Corps aircraft (Defense Daily, Sept. 29, 2009). ATK is partnered with BAE Systems, maker of the AAR-57 missile warning system, for the JATAS effort.

The technology demonstration phase will conclude for both contractors in early 2011 per the schedule, a NAVAIR spokesperson said yesterday.

To date, both vendors have provided prototype hardware for government testing that consisted of ground live-fire testing for sensor performance, flight testing for system performance and lab testing for integration performance, NAVAIR added.

Both vendors have completed preliminary design reviews for their design, and the government expects to release a proposal for engineering and manufacturing development this fall, with the winning vendor selected in spring 2011, NAVAIR said.