JED - May 2010 - (Page 44)

Senior Leadership Outreach The Future for Airborne Expendables By John Knowles S 44 The Journal of Electronic Defense | May 2010 ometimes, in the course of a war, a single event can take on massive dimensions. On November 2, 2003, just such an event occurred. That morning, a pair of US Army CH-47 Chinook helicopters were transporting soldiers from a base in western Iraq to Baghdad International Airport. As they passed near a village just south of Fallujah, two missiles (later determined to be SA-7s) were fi red at the aircraft from behind. One of the missiles missed, but the second hit one of the Chinooks, which caught fi re and crashed. Sixteen of the 42 soldiers and crewmembers onboard were killed. Helicopters had been shot down in Iraq prior to November 2nd, and more helicopters would be shot down in the months afterward. For the Army, however, this loss was significant because of the high number of casualties. It demonstrated that the Army needed to equip its helicopters with better infrared countermeasures systems. Part of the solution involved buying advanced missile warning systems and countermeasures dispensers. Not too long before, the Army had completed development of the AAR-57 Common Missile Warning System (CMWS) and the Improved Countermeasures Dispenser. To defeat the IR missiles themselves, however, the Army needed to buy three flares – the M206, M211 and M212 – in large quantities. By late 2005, the Army Why Flares are and Will Remain an Essential Tool for Warfighters and a Look at their Future as Conflicts Wind Down was moving forward with plans to increase production of these flares from 9,000 units per month to 54,000 units per month in just 90 days. The three companies that manufactured those flares opened up new production lines and began delivering the new quantities to the Army. This is just one example of the significant commitment that flare manufacturers have made to meet their customer’s rapidly evolving survivability requirements during the Global War on Terror. What is interesting is that most aircrews can name the companies that build their aircraft, and they likely know the companies that manufacture its weapons and sensors. But only a few probably know the companies that make the flares that protect them or understand how the DOD and the manufacturer collaborate to develop those flares. Fewer still could explain the unique challenges these flare companies are facing today and in the future. In fact, for such a critical capability,

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