By Richard Scott
The US Navy has awarded BAE Systems (Austin, TX) a $13.5 million contract to incorporate its Smart D2 technology into existing AN/ALE-47 Airborne Countermeasures Dispenser Systems. The contract – an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) through the Naval Aviation Systems Consortium (NASC) – represents the first purchase of Smart D2 technology by the US Department of Defense.
Forming part of the Navy’s AN/ALE-47 Common Carriage program, Smart D2 technology supports the conversion from chaff and flare cartridges that use a round form factor to countermeasure stores with the same square form factor used by the US Air Force and the US Army. The Smart D2 sequencer and square style dispenser are a form and fit replacement to the current AN/ALE-47 sequencer and dispenser for the US Navy’s effort under the NASC OTA.
Instead of replacing an aircraft’s entire AN/ALE-47 system, Smart D2 technology allows for the replacement of key elements – the programmer, sequencer, dispenser, and expendables. The programmer contains a regularly-updated database of known threats and identifies the appropriate payload, quantity and dispensing intervals of each countermeasure. It also provides two-way communication of mission-critical information, such as monitoring how many rounds of each flare or chaff type are available during a mission.
Work on Smart D2 under the ALE-47 Common Carriage program is underway at BAE Systems’ facility in Austin. Smart D2 will be deployed on both rotary- and fixed-wing aircraft, and is also designed to operate on future platforms.