There are eight people listed as members of the Geneen Award-winning SIRFC/AIDEWS team. Behind them is a decade of hard work by hundreds of Avionics employees. Ahead is a new market with $2 billion in potential revenues.
In 1994, the U.S. Army had electronic warfare capabilities -- radar-jamming technology provided by Avionics -- for its aviators. What it didn't possess was accurate and precise threat warning capabilities. With the contract award for a Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures (SIRFC), Avionics set out to provide a technology advancement that would allow U.S. Army pilots to detect, deny, disrupt, degrade and even evade air defense threats.
From the very start, SIRFC was a masterpiece of design innovation and technological capabilities. Its modular design means the system can be tailored to specific customer requirements and used on a variety of air missions, from passive reconnaissance with Comanche helicopters to more aggressive special operations with Blackhawk helicopters. Today, there are seven configurations of the SIRFC system operating under the common AN/ALQ-211 name.
The modular, building-block design of SIRFC also makes it affordable. Military customers can buy what they need and add other capabilities later. The country of Norway has done just that, installing the SIRFC radar warning system on its Maritime Patrol Helicopters, with plans to add full radar-jamming capabilities in the future.
The SIRFC technology is not only for helicopters that fly low and slow. The team modified the functionalities, enabling the system to perform on high-flying, high-speed fighter planes. These cross-platform capabilities -- called AIDEWS, for Advanced Integrated Defensive Electronic Warfare Systems -- opened up new international markets for Avionics. AIDEWS is now under contract for F-16 fighter planes in Chile and Oman, and there is growing interest for SIRFC and AIDEWS around the globe.
By advancing SIRFC to a multi-platform and multi-national program, the team now has a system with the potential to capture $2 billion in sales.
But most importantly, says team member and chief engineer Ron Pinkerton, "The SIRFC and AIDEWS systems will protect the lives of U.S. and foreign servicemen and women, and help ensure the success of future military missions."
The SIRFC/AIDEWS Team
Clifton, New Jersey
Left to right - Bob Palazzo, Ed Moroney, Ron Pinkerton, John Pickett, Joseph Ruffolo, Christopher Carlson, John Zaccaria, Andrew Dunn