JED - June 2015 - 26

The Journal of Electronic Defense | June 2015
The Time Has Come
Missile Warning Systems for Fast Jets - Gen 4.5 and Higher
By John Haystead
T
26
Today, the threat posed by anti-aircraft
missiles is greater than ever. This is
true for the latest generation (5th Gen)
stealth tactical aircraft, as well as new
highly-advanced,
non-stealth
defense organizations prepare for possible
operations in much more complex
air-defense environments
that
aircraft
and earlier-generation platforms upgraded
with the latest Active Electronically
Scanned Array (AESA) radars, integrated
avionics and highly capable defensive
aids systems (Gen 4.5). The threat mix includes
both RF and EO/IR-based surfaceto-air
threats, as well as longer range
IR-guided air-to-air missiles. So, while
the discussion of missile warning systems
is usually limited to the familiar UV
and IR-based detection systems found on
rotary craft, and low/slow flying transport
aircraft, this article will take a more
holistic look at the task of missile warning
for aircraft. To properly address the
missile warning requirements of modern
front-line fighter aircraft, in addition to
EO/IR warning systems, the discussion
must necessarily also include the role
of traditional Radar Warning Receivers
(RWRs), other IR/EO sensors, active radar
warners, as well as the role, or potential
role, of the AESA radar itself.
RF THREATS ARE VERY MUCH
STILL OUT THERE
Since the 1960s, radar-guided surface-to-air
missile systems (SAMs) have
posed a major threat to aircraft, particularly
high-flying aircraft, including fastflying
fighter jets. The RF threat still
very much exists today, although the
emergence of IR-guided Man Portable Air
Defense Systems (MANPADS) and their
widespread use by regular military forces
and non-state actors has diverted significant
attention and investment away from
RF missile warning and defense systems.
That situation is now starting to change,
however, as western governments and
include
advanced fighter aircraft and long-range
RF-guided missile systems.
Chris Bushell, Senior Vice President
for EW at Selex ES Airborne and Space
Systems Division (Luton, England) says,
"This is the headline for us here at
Selex." As he sees it, "The RF threat is
proliferating around the world both in
terms of numbers, as well as sophistication,
and though the RF side has not
been completely forgotten, the investments
that we've seen from governments
has tended more toward countering the
IR threats. What is now clear, however,
from looking at recent events around
the world, is that these RF threats are
also of increasing concern."
Irmin Menscher, VP Marketing and
Business Development, of Elbit Systems
EW and SIGINT - Elisra (Bene Beraq,
Israel) agrees, observing that the RF
threats are operating at longer ranges
and expanding beyond the conventional
2- to 18-GHz frequency range, as well
as having more sophisticated Electronic
Counter-Countermeasure
sophisticated, and we will continue to
see later generations of sophisticated
threat technology emerging across the
board, including the radars, missiles and
control networks. If you have a combination
of both radar warning and missile
warning, you're able to cope with many
more potential threat scenarios seen in
the new battlefield, such as those where
missiles are locked on and launched
when there is no actual RF system emitting,
or continuously emitting."
Bruno Carrara, Thales Vice President,
Electronic Combat Systems Business,
also sees the missile threat to fast jets
increasing, with defense systems needing
to be able to handle greater numbers
of threats at longer ranges. "As a result,
we need to have improved sensors for
all components of the spectrum." But,
on the positive side, Carrara adds that
"there is advancement on both sides of
the technology, not only in terms of the
threat but also in terms of missile warning
system technology."
Murray Collette, Technical Director
(ECCM) capabilities.
"In our view, a missile warning
system is not only for handling the IR
threat, it can also provide complimentary
advantages to the RWR in the handling
of RF threats as well, particularly
in places where you don't have enough
protection or situational awareness."
Menscher says that today, you have to
evaluate the threat from the perspective
of the total requirements of a full
EW suite. "Some of the missile threats
are more related to the (IR/EO) missile
warning system and some are more related
to the RF warning portion, but I
see major improvements in the threat on
both fronts. It's already becoming more
for the Survivability & Targeting Solutions
business of BAE Systems Electronic
Systems (Nashua, NH), says he's seeing
an increase in multi-spectral, multimode
missile systems - starting first
with air-to-air threats, but expected
to soon also migrate into ground-to-air
threat systems as well. "As a result, missile
detection and countermeasure systems
will also need to be multi-mode or
multi-spectral in future, and with better
system integration. Given the longer
ranges and the possibility of a multimode
threat being initially launched in
an RF mode, but then switching to an
IR or EO mode for terminal guidance,
there's definitely an increasing requirement
for longer range detection of missile
warning systems."

JED - June 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - June 2015

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
World Report
Leadership Interview
Missile Warning for Fighter Aircraft
Technology Survey: RWR/ESM Systems
EW 101
2015 AOC Election Guide
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - June 2015 - cover1
JED - June 2015 - cover2
JED - June 2015 - 3
JED - June 2015 - 4
JED - June 2015 - 5
JED - June 2015 - The View From Here
JED - June 2015 - 7
JED - June 2015 - Conferences Calendar
JED - June 2015 - 9
JED - June 2015 - Courses Calendar
JED - June 2015 - 11
JED - June 2015 - From the President
JED - June 2015 - 13
JED - June 2015 - 14
JED - June 2015 - The Monitor
JED - June 2015 - 16
JED - June 2015 - 17
JED - June 2015 - 18
JED - June 2015 - 19
JED - June 2015 - World Report
JED - June 2015 - 21
JED - June 2015 - Leadership Interview
JED - June 2015 - 23
JED - June 2015 - 24
JED - June 2015 - 25
JED - June 2015 - Missile Warning for Fighter Aircraft
JED - June 2015 - 27
JED - June 2015 - 28
JED - June 2015 - 29
JED - June 2015 - 30
JED - June 2015 - 31
JED - June 2015 - 32
JED - June 2015 - 33
JED - June 2015 - 34
JED - June 2015 - 35
JED - June 2015 - 36
JED - June 2015 - 37
JED - June 2015 - 38
JED - June 2015 - Technology Survey: RWR/ESM Systems
JED - June 2015 - 40
JED - June 2015 - 41
JED - June 2015 - 42
JED - June 2015 - 43
JED - June 2015 - 44
JED - June 2015 - 45
JED - June 2015 - 46
JED - June 2015 - 47
JED - June 2015 - EW 101
JED - June 2015 - 49
JED - June 2015 - 50
JED - June 2015 - 51
JED - June 2015 - 52
JED - June 2015 - 53
JED - June 2015 - 54
JED - June 2015 - 2015 AOC Election Guide
JED - June 2015 - 56
JED - June 2015 - 57
JED - June 2015 - 58
JED - June 2015 - 59
JED - June 2015 - 60
JED - June 2015 - AOC News
JED - June 2015 - 62
JED - June 2015 - 63
JED - June 2015 - 64
JED - June 2015 - Index of Advertisers
JED - June 2015 - JED Quick Look
JED - June 2015 - cover3
JED - June 2015 - cover4
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