Boeing to Test Advanced Electronic Warfare Suite on Apache
MESA, Arizona, July 19, 1999 -- Advanced electronic warfare countermeasures for U.S. Army rotorcraft will get their first in-flight shakedowns this summer aboard the next-generation Boeing-built AH-64D Apache Longbow multi-role combat helicopter.
The Boeing Company in Mesa, Ariz., has integrated the lightweight AN/ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated Radio-Frequency Countermeasures -- or SIRFC -- equipment into an Apache Longbow prototype aircraft for flight test and evaluations.
Boeing pilots and support teams will conduct the tests, which begin later this month and continue through mid-October, at the U.S. Navy electronic warfare range at China Lake, Calif.
Boeing is under contract to the U.S. Army along with ITT Industries, Avionics Division, Clifton, N.J., the developer of SIRFC.
The expanded electronic warfare capabilities will enhance survivability and effectiveness of Army rotorcraft. SIRFC uses radar warning, active radar jamming and passive radar frequency target detection and classification to enable crews to avoid potentially dangerous situations in flight. SIRFC allows information, such as threat locations and ranges, to be overlaid on a digital map to enhance situational awareness.
SIRFC, which will be qualified by the Army for use on its rotorcraft beginning in early 2000, is designed to significantly expand the capabilities of the Apache Longbow, Special Operations MH-47 Chinooks and MH-60 Black Hawks. The U.S. Air Force chose the system last year for its special operations CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft.
SIRFC has been studied in a laboratory environment, completing a series of simulation tests and evaluations that demonstrated the ability of flight crews to evade simulated air-to-air missiles, use nap-of-the-earth flight to hide from threats, and identify threats that non-SIRFC-equipped aircraft could not see.
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