The US Navy has awarded a $33m contract to Lockheed Martin for the technology demonstration phase of its Joint and Allied Threat Awareness System (JATAS).

Under the contract Lockheed Martin will design, develop and demonstrate JATAS prototypes for the US Navy.

JATAS is a next-generation threat warning system for the US Navy and marine corps assault aircraft for increased survivability in hostile environments.

The system will provide rotary-wing assault aircraft with an integrated, infrared-based missile warning, laser warning and hostile fire indication defensive suite.

JATAS deployable aircraft should have a modular open-system architecture for plug-and-play capability and rapid technology upgrade.

An additional critical element for assault aircraft survivability is hostile fire indication, the ability to detect, track and measure the proximity of rocket-propelled grenades and small arms fire.

A fully capable hostile fire indication system has been successfully demonstrated by Lockheed Martin as part of the Naval Research Laboratory Hostile Fire Indicator contract.