JED - July 2014 - 29

mission data, data modem, as well as
air-to-air plus anti-radiation missiles
and a specialized ESM targeting pod to
cue the latter ones. However, he still
finds it difficult to work the situation,
as he himself has to integrate and correlate the information from all those
different systems. To make it worse,
the presentation and displays have
serious limitations to support him. He
has to unlock ("drop") the air target
with his radar to use another page of
his multifunction displays to check on
the horizontal situation display or the
anti-radiation missile attack display
even when he is already inside the engagement range of the ground threat.
The action is so intense and the steps
between different systems and their
presentations are so "slow" in the cockpit that the aircraft ends up within the
"lethal zone" (the Russian term for firing range) and exposed to an otherwise
avoidable engagement.
The pilot's follow-on evasive maneuvers and the individual performance of
the F-16's onboard Electronic Warfare
(EW) suites saved the day, but overall
system performance cannot be graded
as optimal. Despite all the best efforts
of a well trained crew, vast onboard
(and off-board) capabilities, available
information, the situational awareness
picture could not be compiled and presented in a comprehensive way in those
critical seconds for those who needed
it the most to make a timely decision. Also, different systems, like the

radar, ESM targeting system, and airto-ground and air-to-air weapons, were
unable (or limited in their ability) to
work concurrently.
These limitations, of course, were
obvious for a long time. However, the
technology to solve these problems was
not there for decades. Although fourthgeneration platforms, especially the US
"F-teenager" (F-15, F-16 and F-18) series
have leapt forward in integration from
the 1970s, with multiplex data buses
(MIL-STD-1553B), these -1553 buses
were utilized mostly for providing improved controls and compatibility of
onboard avionics. The structural environment in which integration could
take place appeared, but computer processing performance was not mature
enough to run the complex software
algorithms needed to correlate and
consolidate information from different sources, like onboard navigation
and sensor systems or off-board sensors
with vastly different characteristics.
Therefore, control of EW equipment (a
very important source of situational
awareness) and their indications continued to rely on discreet lines and
dedicated displays in most aircraft.
In other aircraft, one of the several
MUX buses were dedicated to EW integration. Integration was also held back by
the fact that a frequently reprogrammed
subsystem may affect overall system
stability, and at the same time there are
questions on how to protect classified
EW data in such an environment.

BEGINNINGS
Whatever the reason, most of the
time a clear dividing line remained
between EW and other parts of the
(mission) avionics, with only the compatibility function receiving a direct
link. In the so-called federated systems, a closer integration of the different elements of the EW suite, the RWR,
jammer and dispensers happened. This
development enabled, for example, the
automation of countermeasures, freeing up the crew for other mission-critical tasks and shortening reaction time.
Such an approach resulted in for example the Tactical Electronic Warfare Suite
(TEWS) of the F-15, which was (and still
is) by any standard a massive part of
the aircraft's electronics and critical in
fulfilling its air superiority sweep missions deep into hostile airspace characterized by dense threat environments.
But still, the pilot remained the principal integrator of information coming
from the TEWS and the radar, channeling information from one sensor to
the other. The situational awareness
picture came together only inside the
pilot's brain, not in a computer and presented on a multi-function display. For
example, if a pilot had a radar warning
receiver (RWR) indication (a "spike")
from an air threat, it was the pilot who
would manually align the radar with the
spike to get a target confirmation, and
possibly a firing solution. To put it simply, the potential of the RWR couldn't
be utilized to its full capability.

The Journal of Electronic Defense | July 2014

tilayered "Bubble"

29



JED - July 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - July 2014

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
The Art of Fusion – Ew and Radar for Fighter Aircraft
EPAWSS: F-15 Ew Upgrade Ready to Launch
Technology Survey: Airborne Ir Decoys and Dispensers
EW 101
New Products
AOC Election Guide
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - July 2014 - cover1
JED - July 2014 - cover2
JED - July 2014 - 3
JED - July 2014 - 4
JED - July 2014 - 5
JED - July 2014 - The View From Here
JED - July 2014 - 7
JED - July 2014 - Conferences Calendar
JED - July 2014 - 9
JED - July 2014 - Courses Calendar
JED - July 2014 - 11
JED - July 2014 - From the President
JED - July 2014 - 13
JED - July 2014 - 14
JED - July 2014 - The Monitor
JED - July 2014 - 16
JED - July 2014 - 17
JED - July 2014 - 18
JED - July 2014 - 19
JED - July 2014 - 20
JED - July 2014 - 21
JED - July 2014 - 22
JED - July 2014 - 23
JED - July 2014 - Washington Report
JED - July 2014 - 25
JED - July 2014 - World Report
JED - July 2014 - 27
JED - July 2014 - The Art of Fusion – Ew and Radar for Fighter Aircraft
JED - July 2014 - 29
JED - July 2014 - 30
JED - July 2014 - 31
JED - July 2014 - 32
JED - July 2014 - 33
JED - July 2014 - 34
JED - July 2014 - 35
JED - July 2014 - 36
JED - July 2014 - 37
JED - July 2014 - EPAWSS: F-15 Ew Upgrade Ready to Launch
JED - July 2014 - 39
JED - July 2014 - 40
JED - July 2014 - 41
JED - July 2014 - 42
JED - July 2014 - Technology Survey: Airborne Ir Decoys and Dispensers
JED - July 2014 - 44
JED - July 2014 - 45
JED - July 2014 - 46
JED - July 2014 - 47
JED - July 2014 - 48
JED - July 2014 - 49
JED - July 2014 - EW 101
JED - July 2014 - 51
JED - July 2014 - 52
JED - July 2014 - New Products
JED - July 2014 - 54
JED - July 2014 - AOC Election Guide
JED - July 2014 - 56
JED - July 2014 - 57
JED - July 2014 - 58
JED - July 2014 - 59
JED - July 2014 - 60
JED - July 2014 - 61
JED - July 2014 - 62
JED - July 2014 - AOC News
JED - July 2014 - 64
JED - July 2014 - Index of Advertisers
JED - July 2014 - JED Quick Look
JED - July 2014 - cover3
JED - July 2014 - cover4
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