JED - March 2013 - 35

Grumman’s recently-awarded Air Force
Electronic Attack Pod Upgrade Program
(EA PUP), which will upgrade the AN/
ALQ-131 with new digital RF memory
(DRFM) technology, “that system has
many of the same elements that we used
in our upgrades of the AN/ALR-20, the
AN/ALQ-122 and the AN/ALQ-155 on the
B-52. There are other upgrades in line
right now for the B-52 that will be critical to ensuring that the B-52 can actually get to the target area safely, and this
is why these systems are so important.”

Exelis’ Carlson observes that although “aircraft like the B-52 and B-1
seem to go through cycles every couple
of years where people talk about shutting them down and taking them out
of the fleet, the reality is that there’s a
mission there, they’re needed, and they
keep flying. And we therefore need to
keep sustaining the systems and keeping them operationally ready and maintainable into the future.” Carlson agrees
that the best approach is to leverage
production capabilities and technology

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The Journal of Electronic Defense | March 2013

currently completing an upgrade of the
system’s DRFMs and is also completing
the development cycle of an upgrade to
its Band 4-8 receivers. As pointed out
by Carlson, “Obviously funding plays a
key role in what [Warner Robins] can do.
There’s been a lot of discussion about
where to take the system, such as upgrading the transmitters, but you have
to balance that with what you can do in
a single year in terms of budgets.”
One ongoing improvement of note
being accomplished as part of the ALQ161’s normal block cycle software update
process is the migration of the system’s
software language from Jovial to Ada.
“Migration to a more modern processor language should simplify and
reduce the cost of future block cycle
updates,” says Colonel Kelly. The first
Ada block cycle update is currently in
flight test now with an estimated fielding date of first quarter FY2014, and
further annual updates to the block in
FY2015 and FY2016.
Overall, the approach to maintaining
and upgrading the EW systems on older
platforms like the B-52 and B-1 poses
unique challenges. Says Lt Col Lewis,
“Although current EW systems are adequate, sustainment can be expensive
due to diminishing parts issues. The
various legacy EW systems on the current bomber fleet are sustained and
upgraded as deemed necessary to meet
potential threats. Sometimes you can
gain or enhance your capabilities by
taking advantage of inherited capabilities in newer subsystems that might be
used to sustain legacy systems. Likewise, investment in next-generation
capabilities will be made to meet future
potential threats as necessary. EW is a
key enabler and there are many tools
available to the Joint Community for use
in planning efforts. There are many new
technologies available that we are looking at to determine their feasibility.”
Northrop Grumman’s Nyre says “the
most efficient and cost-effective approach (to maintaining and upgrading legacy equipment) is to use proven
technology across a family-of-systems,
where you have common solutions
across a number of platforms or across a
number of LRUs or SRUs on a platform.”
For example, she notes that in Northrop

35

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JED - March 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - March 2013

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Enabling Global Strike: EW Updates to the USAF’s Bomber Fleet
Technology Survey
EW 101
AOC News
2013 AOC Industry Member Guide
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - March 2013 - cover1
JED - March 2013 - cover2
JED - March 2013 - 3
JED - March 2013 - 4
JED - March 2013 - 5
JED - March 2013 - The View From Here
JED - March 2013 - 7
JED - March 2013 - Conferences Calendar
JED - March 2013 - 9
JED - March 2013 - Courses Calendar
JED - March 2013 - 11
JED - March 2013 - From the President
JED - March 2013 - 13
JED - March 2013 - 14
JED - March 2013 - The Monitor
JED - March 2013 - 16
JED - March 2013 - 17
JED - March 2013 - 18
JED - March 2013 - 19
JED - March 2013 - 20
JED - March 2013 - 21
JED - March 2013 - 22
JED - March 2013 - 23
JED - March 2013 - Washington Report
JED - March 2013 - 25
JED - March 2013 - World Report
JED - March 2013 - 27
JED - March 2013 - Enabling Global Strike: EW Updates to the USAF’s Bomber Fleet
JED - March 2013 - 29
JED - March 2013 - 30
JED - March 2013 - 31
JED - March 2013 - 32
JED - March 2013 - 33
JED - March 2013 - 34
JED - March 2013 - 35
JED - March 2013 - 36
JED - March 2013 - 37
JED - March 2013 - 38
JED - March 2013 - Technology Survey
JED - March 2013 - 40
JED - March 2013 - 41
JED - March 2013 - 42
JED - March 2013 - 43
JED - March 2013 - 44
JED - March 2013 - 45
JED - March 2013 - 46
JED - March 2013 - 47
JED - March 2013 - EW 101
JED - March 2013 - 49
JED - March 2013 - AOC News
JED - March 2013 - 51
JED - March 2013 - 52
JED - March 2013 - 2013 AOC Industry Member Guide
JED - March 2013 - 54
JED - March 2013 - 55
JED - March 2013 - 56
JED - March 2013 - 57
JED - March 2013 - 58
JED - March 2013 - 59
JED - March 2013 - 60
JED - March 2013 - 61
JED - March 2013 - 62
JED - March 2013 - 63
JED - March 2013 - 64
JED - March 2013 - 65
JED - March 2013 - 66
JED - March 2013 - 67
JED - March 2013 - 68
JED - March 2013 - 69
JED - March 2013 - 70
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JED - March 2013 - 72
JED - March 2013 - 73
JED - March 2013 - 74
JED - March 2013 - 75
JED - March 2013 - 76
JED - March 2013 - 77
JED - March 2013 - 78
JED - March 2013 - 79
JED - March 2013 - Index of Advertisers
JED - March 2013 - 81
JED - March 2013 - JED Quick Look
JED - March 2013 - cover3
JED - March 2013 - cover4
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