The Royal Australian Air Force planned to fund the development of an advanced infrared suppression system for its Lockheed Martin AP-3C Orion maritime-patrol aircraft using technology at the heart of US FBI charges against a US-based director of Canberra-headquartered NTech Australia.

The project, understood to have since been shelved, was being planned as an Australian defence minor item submission – an acquisition worth A$5-20 million ($4-15 million).

NTech Australia was established in June 2001 by former Northrop Grumman propulsion system design engineer Noshir Gowadia, who was charged by the FBI last October with breaching US defence export and national security laws by illegally releasing technology associated with the US Air Force’s Northrop B-2 stealth bomber to up to eight countries, including Australia (Flight International, 17-23 January).

The proposed exhaust infrared signature suppression system was based on development of an adaptive flexible nozzle contouring system coupled with variable external, cool airflow blending techniques to reduce engine efflux temperatures and thermal signature scatter without significantly reducing thrust output. The system was to have been retrofitted into an aircraft turbine engine as a replacement to existing power ducts. Australia had also funded studies for derivatives of the technology for its Boeing F/A-18A/B fighters and military helicopters.


Source: Flight International