BAE Systems has procured a $34 million worth Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) contract, as per the terms of which BAE Systems will develop the Multi-Function Radio Frequency Advanced Rotary Wing Multifunction Sensor (ARMS) system to increase helicopter survivability.
DARPA’s MFRF program is aimed at the development of an onboard, multi-function sensor capable of performing various tasks to ensure and enhance rotorcraft survivability and aid in combat missions with lethality improvements.
The Multi-Function Radio Frequency (MFRF) ARMS system for helicopter operations in degraded visual environments will offer advanced platform lethality in reduced size, cost and power.
The MFRF ARMS system will enable safe landing and take-off of helicopters in whiteout and brownout conditions. It will also offer collision avoidance, cable and obstacle avoidance, weather avoidance, ground mapping, landing zone assessment, terrain avoidance and terrain following capabilities. The multi-functionality of the ARMS systems will offer added modes for weapons guidance, target detection and identification, high bandwidth data communications and other lethality enhancements.
The ARMS system will integrate a scalable and modular W-band Active Electronically Steered Array (AESA). The scalable, software-programmable AESA radar/sensor will enable scaling across various aperture sizes. The ARMS program is an important component of an Integrated Threat Management System that will provide situational understanding of potential threats in real-time including other aircrafts, terrain obstacles and enemy munitions.
The Vice President of BAE Systems, Dave Logan stated that the next-generation ARMS system eliminates helicopter-related casualties. Furthermore, it opens new opportunities in silicon phased array technology.