Threat: The U.S. DOD faces an ever increasing and threatening tactical environment in which various parties
are using the Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum to interrogate and potentially affect the functioning of high
value systems. Active electronic interrogation, jamming, cyber induced electronic warfare, and geometry to
performance determination are all current threats that must be considered when protecting exposed high value defense assets.
Need: Currently the U.S. Navy has no durable repeat-use solution to shield against RF energy which are flexible enough to be draped over sensitive equipment and which can be formed into a practical cover. In some cases, ships personnel have attempted to improvise a solution by wrapping the asset in aluminum foil.
The need has been validated with numerous briefings with high level representatives from DISA, DOD, and other electronic warfare centric organizations the widespread need for RF shielding covers.
Background: In 2017, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) and Transhield entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement to develop RF shielding protective covers.
Protection: An RF shielding material was successfully developed similar in look and feel to current NAVSEA approved advanced protective cover technology from Transhield Inc. in form, fit and function. This RF shielding material can be custom designed and installed on any critical and vulnerable topside asset.
The new material’s shielding effectiveness was demonstrated through a series of rigorous tests at three naval commands; NSWC PHD, Naval Information Warfare Systems Command, and Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division. Significant effective shielding was provided across the RF spectrum tested. These frequencies are those most commonly used by the U.S. Navy, its allies and its adversaries world-wide in RF based devices.
The use of RF shielding advanced protective covers directly lessen or mitigate the electronic warfare threat faced by U.S. Navy surface combatants and auxiliary support vessels operating in areas where RF interrogation is known or suspected. The DoD now have a commercially available option to mitigate this risk.
Transition Ready: Transhield has prepared for the manufacturing, commercialization and rapid transition of RF shielding advanced protective covers. Sixteen RF shielding covers, purchased by NSWC PHD, were easily designed and manufactured using existing equipment at the military production facility in Elkhart, IN. Transhield’s supply chain and purchasing experts held discussions with key raw material suppliers to gain insight and lead times on high volume purchases.
Potential DoD Applications: Mitigating surveillance of in port and shipyard work on aircraft carriers, submarines, surface combatants and other U.S. Navy vessels.
- naval assets such as the Close-in-Weapons System (CIWS) Phalanx Surface Vessel Torpedo Tube (SVTT), and the Mk38 Mod2/3 gun system.
- ground assets such as the rocket launch systems; MLRS and HIMARS and the Centurion Weapon System (C-RAM).
- radar and communications equipment such as the SPG-62 fire control radar, the AS-2815/SSR-1 antenna and the satellite transportable terminal (STT).
- electronic warfare assets such as AN/SLQ-32 and the NULKA anti-ship missile decoy.
- aircraft and aviation components.
Figure 1. Close-in-Weapons System (CIWS) Phalanx Mount
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