Effort Will Mark First Time Army Has ECM Capability On Unmanned Aircraft
Two electronic attack payloads in support of the U.S. Army's Networked Electronic Warfare, Remotely Operated (NERO) system have been delivered by Raytheon. The payloads were delivered as part of a contract awarded by the U.S. Navy NAVSEA-Crane in 2012. NERO is utilized on the Army's MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS as an airborne electronic attack system capable of jamming enemy communications systems.
The NERO system builds on the success of the Army's Communications Electronic Attack with Surveillance and Reconnaissance (CEASAR) program. By migrating the same pod system and advanced capability to the Gray Eagle, NERO is capable of two- to three-times longer missions with reduced operating costs compared with the current C-12 based CEASAR system. It also reduces risk to the warfighter by being mounted onto an unmanned platform.
"NERO provides critical jamming capabilities to warfighters in counterinsurgency environments," said Glen Bassett, director of Advanced Communications and Countermeasures for Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems business. "We leveraged our combat-proven success from the manned CEASAR program to deliver this key tactical electronic attack capability onto an unmanned application."
CEASAR, first awarded in 2010, was mounted onto a Beechcraft King Air C-12 aircraft and uses the same lightweight pod as NERO. Both systems enable the Army to control use of the electromagnetic spectrum by providing beyond line of sight jamming capability to support ground troop operations. CEASAR and NERO counter military and commercial communication systems in today's operations and are adaptable to counter the next generation of enemy threats.