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Defense Update News:

'Most Innovative Defense Technology' 2008 Award Nominee

CREW III

NAVSEA / JIEDDO

US and coalition forces are using many different jammers to combat the threats of radio controlled IEDs, protecting convoys, patrols and installations. While performing their mission effectively, these jammers are also creating extensive interference to friendly communications throughout the usable spectrum. The goal of the new generation of jammers is to field advanced jammers, both vehicular and dismounted, that will be able to minimize such interference while maintaining effective protection from current threats and those anticipated to be used in the future.

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Through their different phases, CREW jammers evolved from simple noise generators creating a 'barrage' effect that blocked RF communications at a safe distance, to more devices operating more selectively, responding to potential threats and maintaining a limited level of integration with on-board communications. The next generation will extend this capability, addressing new and projected threats not currently encountered in theater, while improving the system's flexibility, interoperability and synchronization with other systems operating in networked environment.

Three companies are currently competing for the supply of up to 2,300 man portable 'third generation' electronic jammers designed to disrupt the command links used by insurgents, operating remotely controlled explosive devices. These systems, known as CREW III which stands for 'Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIED) Electronic Warfare (CREW)' will address advanced threats while minimizing interference to friendly forces and nearby electronic equipment.

A formal contract award is expected by mid 2009, for the delivery of 200 initial systems. Orders for 2,300 additional systems are also expected. These orders address the man portable dismounted device. The vehicular system known as CREW 3.2 is also in evaluation. The three companies that developed the prototypes and compete for the new order are Northrop Grumman, ITT and the Sierra Nevada Corporation. The U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) manages the joint CREW program for Office of the Secretary of Defense, Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO).

Reasons for Recommendation:

While vehicle mounted counter IED jammers are widely used, and have proved to be quite effective, the availability of dismounted systems will add a new dimension to the protected of small units, securing teams in conditions they could not operate before.

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