JED - June 2010 - (Page 24)

world repor t 24 The Journal of Electronic Defense | June 2010 RAF NIMROD R1 AIRCRAFT DEPLOYED TO AFGHANISTAN The UK’s remaining two Nimrod R1 signals-intelligence (SIGINT) aircraft are undertaking their last major deployment – in Afghanistan – before being retired in 2011. They belong to the 51st Squadron, part of the Royal Air Force’s Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance (ISTAR) component, based at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. Speaking at the AOC/Shephard EW 2010 conference in Berlin last month, Air Commodore N.J. “Flash” Gordon, AO ISTAR & SAR, noted recent successful operational activities of the RAF’s ISTAR component – including the tripling of UK signal-collection figures over the last year – and anticipated the Nimrod R1 SIGINT platforms’ contribution to coalition operations in Afghanistan, “with deployment expected to last until the type platform retirement in March 2011.” The RAF retired its third Nimrod R1 in October 2009. The remaining two aircraft recently received unspecified upgrades directed toward their communications intelligence (COMINT) suite, according to Gordon. The UK Ministry of Defence revealed recently that its Nimrod R1s will be replaced by a fleet of three Boeing 707-based RC-135 Rivet Joint platforms equipped with the same mission suite employed by the US Air Force, with the first aircraft to be inducted into UK service in 2014. In the meantime, RAF crews are to be trained on the USAF aircraft. UK SIGINT activities in support of coalition operations in the Afghanistan theater also are being provided by the USAF-developed MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and the Shadow R1 turboprop aircraft (a specially modified Hawker Beechcraft King Air 350ER), which are equipped with dedicated equipment similar to USAF platforms. Gordon pointed to an improved procurement process in which the UK’s MQ-9 Reapers were procured and fielded in 15 months and entered service only one week after the USAF version. Speaking from the operational perspective at EW 2010, Maj Jonny Hill, Commanding Officer of the Royal Marines’ Y Squadron, noted that an electronic support payload is planned for the UK’s new Watchkeeper UAV from Thales. However, he added, “There’s a debate raging in the UK at the moment about whether additional SIGINT/EW capabilities ought to be loaded onto UAVs.” This may limit the expanded options for EW and SIGINT payloads for UK UAVs moving ahead. – L. Peruzzi and S. Grant NATO PLANS EW TRAINING SYSTEM UPGRADES NATO is preparing for a major upgrade of its electronic warfare training equipment, including 20 new airborne RF jamming simulator pods, four new EW cabins to be used in land/maritime EW training and four anti-missile ship defense “smart” pods. Briefing attendees at AOC/Shephard EW 2010 conference last month in Berlin, Capt Peter Kenward, director of the NATO Joint EW Core Staff (JEWCS), laid out an ambitious plan for modernization, which would move toward first stage authorization in third quarter of

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

JED - June 2010
Table of Contents
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Man-Portable COMINT
Technology Profile: RF Interconnect Solutions
EW 101
AOC Election Guide
Index of Advertisers
JED Sales Offices
JED Quick Look

JED - June 2010