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ROTARY WINGED AIRCRAFT
MRH-90 AND TIGER ARH
It might be said that the purchase of these aircraft sealed the fate of
Echidna, for all were acquired with a complete EWSP of European origin.
24 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters ( Tigers) were ordered to provide a
new battlefield capability for the Army, by replacing the time expired Bell
Iroquois “Hueys” and the Kiowa Light Observation Helicopter.
MRH-90s were purchased to replace the Army’s Blackhawks and
the Navy’s Seakings. Recently Defence announced a decision to compete
the acquisition of replacement for the Seahawks and Seasprites, between
the NH-90 and the MH-60R. This decision negated a previous statement
that Defence sought an essentially common aircraft for Army and Navy
The MRH-90 and NH-90 are essentially common aircraft, the MRH-90
for Army transport roles and the NH-90 for maritime defence roles as an
extension of a host ship’s combat systems’ capabilities. These different
roles are likely to result in some differences in the EWSP configurations.
to a central CPU that provides a tactical situation display to the crew
threat. The TWE is a product of a JV between Thales supplying a 2-40GHz
RWR and EADS supplying a Laser Warner that operates in Bands 1 and 2.
airframe to provide near-spherical detection of multiple threats and are
optimised for the detection of UV threat emissions, generated particularly
at missile launch and in flight in missile exhaust plumes. MILDS provides
to the aircrew, threat approach angle, threat prioritisation and automatic
countermeasures initiation. The system features a very low false alarm
rate, high threat angular resolution and is capable of detecting up to six
to detect missile laser guidance signals.
sensor, or on crew command.
Table 2. Rotary wing aircraft
OTHER AIRCRAFT IN THE RAAF INVENTORY
AP-3C ORION MARITIME PATROL AIRCRAFT
This aircraft has been in reliable service for an incredibly long time, in a
world-wide family of users. Upgrades to the P-3C have been a ”work in
progress” almost continuously since it was first purchased in 1975, in what
was referred to as the Update 2.5 configuration. There are 18 upgraded
AP-3Cs in service - the designation recognizing the very large difference in
the payload and performance of the Australian aircraft from the USN P-3C.
Concerning the EW capabilities of the aircraft, two interrelated projects,
AIR 5140 and AIR 5276, both multi-phase projects, have been undertaken.
AIR 5140 Upgrade was primarily for the installation of the Israeli Elta
ALR-2001 ESM beginning in 1989. The commissioning of this complex
ESM took the best part of a year before it was accepted into ser vice. The
ALR-2001 provided an increasingly sought-after SIGINT capability for
the AP-3C. Under later phases of the same project the ALR-2001 was
further upgraded. AIR 5140 also provided a Software Support Facility
an Operational Mission Simulator and Ground Support Equipment. The
prime contractor for AIR 5140 was BAE Systems Australia.
AIR 5276, Capability Assurance Program is intended to assure that the
aircraft will operate reliably, safely and satisfactorily through to 2015,
TWE (Note 1)
LWS (Note 4)
CMDS (Note 5)
CH-47D Chinook in Afghanistan Credit: ADF
1. The NH-90 is considered likely to be fitted with the Thales TWE that is
installed on the MRH-90 and the Tiger.
2 .The CH-47D. Defence has decided to replace the CH-47D with the CH-47F.
It is considered likely that the aircraft will be fitted with the MRH-90 EWSP
3. The MH-60R . This US multi-service aircraft is the latest Seahawk
replacement and it is fitted with a large number of role dependent avionics
and EW combinations. For USN, Seahawk replacement applications,
Lockheed Martin, the combat system integrator, installs a multimode
radar, acoustic sonar suite, long range IR camera plus detection, track and
engagement of surface and subsurface contacts. For operations in Iraq the
4.The Elisra LWS-20( V )3 is understood to be presently installed on the RAN’s
Seahawk’s S-70B-2 helicopters The system may be carried forward into the
selected Seahawk replacement, assuming suitable performance.
5.CMDS in following aircraft:.
These systems generally tend to vary in size and mass, the types and number
of cartridges that they carry and how they are controlled. General emphasis
is on IRCM.
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