JED - May 2010 - (Page 30)

Governments continue their investment in EW, while balancing the need for quick upgrades to support the war in Afghanistan By Luca Peruzzi Operations in Afghanistan are driving new EW and SIGINT spending among NATO forces. This is leading many European nations to equip their deploying aircraft and ground vehicles with EW equipment tailored for irregular warfare, such as missile warning systems, directed IR countermeasures systems, new flares and RCIED jammers. These urgent EW programs represent a small part of the total defense spending Europe is allocating for Afghanistan operations. So far, this priority spending has not seriously impacted EW acquisitions for more conventional platforms, such as fighter aircraft and ships. With Afghanistan operations showing few signs of slowing, however, it remains to be seen how long European governments can sustain this balancing act in their EW and SIGINT modernization plans. ROTARY WING In Afghanistan, helicopters and lowflying fixed-wing aircraft are operating in a threat environment that includes shoulder-launched IR-guided missiles, as well as small-caliber weapons and RPGs. While none of these threats are new to aircraft, the EW industry is coming up with new solutions for them. In February, the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) awarded Selex Galileo a four-year contract to pursue its Common Defensive Aids System Technology Demonstration Program (CDAS TDP). The goal of this program is to provide a co- herent, cross-platform approach to the acquisition and support of survivability equipment for legacy and new-build helicopters across UK forces. The CDAS TDP will develop an open-architecture approach with standardized interfacing for a range of EW subsystems, encompassing missile warners, DIRCM (Directional Infrared Countermeasures) and Hostile Fire Indicators (HFI). The DAS controller and architecture will be developed from the Aircraft Gateway Processor (AGP) manufactured by Selex Galileo. The company is supplying the AGP to Boeing (Mesa, AZ) for installation on Block II and Block III AH-64D Apache attack helicopters operated by the US Army, as well as international customers. A UK MOD variant of the AGP is also being installed on RAF Chinook and Puma helicopters, as part of a wider DAS upgrade program. The AGP is derived from the company’s Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite (HIDAS), which is in service with British Army’s Apache WAH-64 Mk1, as well as Greek and Kuwaiti AH-64Ds. The HIDAS is scheduled to enter service (without laser warning) on AgustaWestland AW-159 Lynx Wildcat helicopters operated by the British Army and Royal Navy. In the UK, Boeing Chinook HC Mk.2/3/3A, Puma, AgustaWestland Merlin HC Mk.3 and Commando Sea King helicopters are equipped with a multispectral suite of survivability equip- ment, including the Selex Galileo Sky Guardian 2000 RWR, BAE Systems AAR57(V) Common Missile Warning System (CMWS), the Northrop Grumman/Selex AAQ-24(V) Nemesis DIRCM and the Thales Vicon 78 series 455 countermeasures dispensing system. A number of Royal Navy Merlin HM.1 helicopters have also been equipped with the AAR-57(V) CMWS, ALQ-157 IR jammer (also from BAE Systems) and ALE-47 dispensers from Symetrics. Turning back to the CDAS TDP, the program will also incorporate the Selex/Northrop Grumman ECLIPSE Pointer Tracker and Type 160 Infrared Counter Measure (IRCM) laser, which has been designed for weight-sensitive and space-constrained platforms, such as attack helicopters. The ECLIPSE is also being proposed as part of the Northrop Grumman/Selex proposal for the US Army’s Common IR Countermeasures (CIRCM) program, which is about to enter the bid phase. The UK is also conducting trials to evaluate hostile fire indicator (HFI) solutions for helicopters. Leveraging its extensive expertise in acoustics, Roke Manor Research Ltd, together with Selex Galileo, has participated in the program with an HFI system that has successfully demonstrated the ability to provide warning and locate a wide range of gun calibers. BAE Systems and Thales also participated in the trials. Thales demon-

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - May 2010

JED - May 2010
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
European EW
The Future for Airborne Expendables
Protecting Low-Cost and Non-Traditional Platforms
Technology Survey: Missile Warning Systems
New Products
EW 101
Book Review
AOC News
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - May 2010