JED - July 2014 - 38

By John Haystead

The Journal of Electronic Defense | July 2014

38

The US Air Force plans to replace the
EW suite on its F-15C and F-15E aircraft
with a new multispectral, wide-bandwidth digital system. The F-15 Eagle
Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS) program, which
is being managed by the Air Force Life
Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC),
F-15 Division at Wright-Patterson AFB,
OH, aims to replace the existing Tactical EW System (TEWS) on the aircraft.
Planned for operation in the 2020-2030
timeframe, the fully integrated, digital,
internal EPAWSS is intended to address
both advanced radio frequency (RF) and
electro-optic/infrared (EO/IR) threats.
Considered a 4th-generation fighter,
the F-15 has long been the linchpin of
the Air Force's fighter fleet. Built by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing), the first
F-15 (F-15A) air superiority fighter was
delivered to the US Air Force in November, 1974 with the first F-15C and twoseat F-15D models entering the inventory
in 1979. The first F-15E multi-role strike
fighter, which includes a rear cockpit for
the weapons system officer to receive
information from multiple sensors including radar, IR and EW, was delivered
to the Air Force in April 1988 with an
initial operating capability established
in September, 1989. Today, the total Air
Force inventory of F-15s includes 213 F15C aircraft, 35 F-15-D aircraft, and 217
F-15E aircraft split between Active Duty,
Reserves and Air National Guard.
The F-15's TEWS is a federated EW
system incorporating the BAE Systems
(Nashua, NH) AN/ALR-56C radar warning receiver (RWR), Northrop Grumman
(Rolling Meadows, IL) AN/ALQ-135(V)
radar jammer, and BAE Systems AN/
ALE-45 chaff/flares countermeasures
dispenser. The AN/ALQ-135(V) jammer
is capable of prioritizing and simultaneously addressing multiple pulse, pulse
Doppler and continuous wave threats.
Its Band 3 subsystem provides highband coverage which, together with the

Band 1.5 (low band) capability added in
2000 to F-15E aircraft, provides the platform with full-spectrum threat protection. The TEWS on F-15C aircraft do
not have the Band 1.5 subsystem,
but this would be addressed with
EPAWSS. The AN/ALQ-135 has never
been installed on the F-15D.
Currently, plans call for 179 F-15C aircraft and 217 F-15E aircraft to receive
the EPAWSS upgrade, which received its
initial program funding in the FY2013
budget based on early cost estimates.
The FY2014 budget then provided additional funding to continue through
an Analysis of Alternatives (AOA) phase
and the early acquisition process. The
EPAWSS AOA has now been completed,
with the Chief of Staff of the Air Force
approving the analysis in January and
the Office of the Secretary of Defense
(OSD) completing its sufficiency review
in March.
According to Program Manager, Lt
Col Jason Voorheis, "The AOA looked at a
number of alternatives including keeping the existing system, conducting a
limited upgrade of it, or replacing it entirely. It also looked at a number of ways
to replace the existing system, including a podded variant; both non-developmental and developmental components;
and various added capabilities." Ulti-

mately, the AOA
recommended that the Air
Force replace the existing system with a new tightly integrated, internal digital EW
system based on non-developmental components. According
to Voorheis, this will encompass an
upgraded digital RWR with basic geolocation capability, jammer and expendable countermeasures capability.
The AOA also recommends the incorporation of a "monopulse angle countermeasure" capability for increased
survivability, currently envisioned as
a fiber-optic towed decoy. This is to
be provided in a second increment of
the program, however, with the initial
emphasis "first focusing on designing,
testing and fielding the core EW system as soon as possible." Also, while
not required in the initial increment of
capability, Voorheis says the Air Force

"Given the schedule urgency and affordability
concerns, we needed to get something on
the aircraft sooner rather than later, and the
recommendation was to go with a new RWR/
jammer/countermeasure-dispenser, internal,
digital EW solution based on non-developmental
components but that is definitely multi-spectral
and that definitely includes a digital RF memory
(DRFM) component."



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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