JED - July 2014 - 32

The Journal of Electronic Defense | July 2014

32

this task, as well as increasing reliance
on information from data links (initially IDM, later Link 16). While these
systems perfectly supported the task of
suppressing air defenses with HARMs,
as experience in combat operations
showed, a further step in the quality of
information and integration was needed
to develop DEAD capabilities. Non-cooperative (non-emitting) targets (even
older generation SAM systems) operating under strict emission control (EMCON) made it important to act instantly
on information coming from whatever
sensor. Otherwise the enemy could redeploy well within the target generation
cycle of the Air Tasking Order (ATO). Although there were more urgent concurrent forces behind rapid (time sensitive)
targeting in the past decade (post 9-11),
DEAD became a reality in its own right.
For a few years now, with Release 7 (R7)
of the HTS, it is possible to use passive
RF information to cue an electro-optical targeting pod, for example a Sniper
pod, onto the target and bomb it with
laser- or GPS-guided munitions, as it
became a standard combination on US
Common Configuration Implementation
Program (CCIP) Block 50 (and also 40)
F-16s dedicated to this mission. Though
this actual mechanism is probably far
from perfect because of the constrained
Man-Machine Interface (MMI) environment (lack of display area) of the platform, the realization of an offensive EW
capability through improved integration
is unquestionable. The emancipation of
a passive RF sensor as a targeting channel is readily apparent, as well.
There is another trend in integrating more sensors into the mission systems on fighter aircraft. The increasing
use of passive missile approach warning systems (MAWS), which give the
pilot a 360-degree (not necessarily full
spherical, but at least bowtie section)
electro-optical coverage concurrent
with the long-existing radio-frequency
(RWR) coverage. While both US fifthgeneration platforms are equipped
with MAWS (the F-22 has six AAR-56
missile launch detectors and the F-35
has the Distributed Aperture System,
or DAS), some fourth generation (or
even earlier) platforms also use them
MAWS. As the level of sensor integra-

tion improves on fighter aircraft, these
sensors may become just one more set
(channel) of equipment contributing
to overall situational awareness and
cross cueing other sensors.

INTEGRATION FOR FOURTHGENERATION FIGHTERS
The late comers of the fourth-generation fighters, also known as 4+ or 4.5
generation - European canards like the
Rafale, Typhoon, Gripen; late F-15s, F16s and F-18s, as well as suitably outfitted Russian and Chinese platforms
- now have all the means to feature an
integrated avionics suite that contributes to both offensive operations (targeting) and platform self-protection.
Although architectures differ, and new
means of fast, high-volume communication between elements of the avionics
(glass fiber networks) have found their
way to fighters beyond the original MUX
buses, the point is that information
from sensors can be fused aboard in a
way previously unheard of.
Saab speaks about the next generation EW-suite for Gripen-E, which they
claim to be the biggest investment into
onboard EW outside the US. It is to feature increased frequency ranges, improved jamming capabilities, precision
DF, passive missile approach warning
and laser warning (LWS). The system

will be based on a multi-function architecture, which provides for seamless integration of radar, communications and
EW, the company said.
Thales emphasizes the data fusion
between all onboard sensors like RB2E
radar (soon to get an AESA front end),
a follow-on to the current Damocles targeting pod, the front-sector optronic
sensor, and the EW system. This allows
"the pilot to access a global situation
awareness [picture] and therefore to
be a true tactical decider, instead of a
simple sensors operator." The core of
the Rafale's enhanced capabilities lies
in the Thales Modular Data Processing
Unit (MDPU). Their credo on data fusion,
which is carried out in three steps, is appropriate for the whole question. First is
to establish consolidated trackfiles and
refine primary information provided by
the sensors. The second step is to overcome individual sensor limitations related to wavelength/frequency, field of
regard, angular and distance resolution,
by sharing track information received
from the sensors. The third step is to assess the confidence level of consolidated tracks suppressing redundant track
symbols and de-cluttering the displays.
Experience in recent Rafale operations
showed that the synthetic tactical situation established onboard was a valuable contributor of the theater Common



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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