Home' Asia Pacific Defence Reporter : APDR March 2010 Contents BEYOND ECHIDNA
Despite or because of the demise of Echidna, the 2009 issue of the Defence
Capability Plan (DCP) clearly indicated that a policy of equipping all RAAF
front-line airborne assets with an EWSP suite would continue across the
ADF until complete.
Additional to the completion of the Army Black Hawk and CH-47D Chinook
programs, implemented as Echidna activities, the 2009 DCP included:
completion of all (12) aircraft with that system
Aircraft IR Counter Measures (LAIRCM) for its C-130Js, based on the
Warfare Centre (JEWC) to manage force-wide EW issues. It also said that
the role of the JEWC will be to establish an organisation that is expert in
operator training, EW system R&D, particularly CM development and
System Verification and Validation. The integration or independence
of the JEWC with the JEWOSU, the involvement of the ADF, DSTO and
Industry remains to be announced.
CONSOLIDATION OF EW REQUIREMENTS FOR
The long-standing methodology adopted by Defence to identify project by
Service (Sea, Air, Land or Joint, DEF followed by a number and carrying them
forward in budgets and year provides an excellent means of identifying a
project, when coupled with other related statistical information. But of
itself the isolation imposed by this approach does not support the analysis
of a specific technology such as EW to derive a common system and
component architecture that may be beneficially applied across a number
of projects, based on the operational roles of the aircraft. This can only be
done using a technology-centric approach.
Echidna was a management attempt to combine the EW requirements
of one segment of the ADFs diverse aircraft EW requirements to produce
a flexible common system architecture. Echidna generally failed to do that
possibly because there was too strong a focus on putting the ALR-2002
RWR on every platform on the list. It lost the broader project imperatives in
the process. For example installing the ALR-2002 was a misfit in helicopters
such as the Blackhawk.
Meanwhile, post Echidna, changes in the Defence acquisition practice
have become very clear - where buying aircraft complete with an EW
system has replaced the hoped for long- term asset of Echidna. The result
of this is that, since Defence is unlikely to buy all its aircraft from one
supplier, EW commonality is likely to disappear. So considering the above
and assuming it is not to late to implement the following two tables look
at the possibilities for commonality across each two classes of aircraft,
loosely called “fixed wing” and “rotary wing” types. Within that framework
an analysis has been made of EWSP equipment that would be likely to
meet the broad operational requirements of the aircraft in each group. It is
also important to note that EWSP equipment decisions that have already
been made are factored into the equipment recommendations.
Table 1. Notional EW suites for Large, “Fixed wing transport” aircraft
1. (6) Denotes number of aircraft in service
countermeasures system. Standard on all USAF Large Transport Aircraft.
Automatic operation. Believed to be selected for Wedgetail
emission detection. May be used to cue other elements of an EWSP, e.g. CMDS .
Standard on MRH-90 and Tiger, best bet for NH-90 .
cue other elements of an EWSP.
elements of an EWSP, e.g RF jammer and CMDS.
6. ESM . ALR-2001 Elta. Standard on Wedgetail. Passive, high end RF system. May
be used to cue other elements of an EWSP, but more often used to acquire
Standard on AP-3C and believed to be standard on Wedgetail
sensors. One of a number of similar systems available.
less capable ALE-50.
10. Unchecked boxes suggest no value in including the capability, except for MRTT
where a deployed FOTD could interfere with refuelling activity.
Army Blackhawk in Pakistan Credit: ADF
AN/ ALR- 67(V) 3
FOTowed (RF) Decoy
RAAF C-130J cockpit Credit: ADF
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