AN/ALQ-211 Suite of Integrated RF Countermeasures (SIRFC)
The Suite of Integrated Radio Frequency Countermeasures (SIRFC) is an integrated electronic countermeasures system which provides RF threat awareness and active self-protection jamming capabilities for Army aircraft against RF air defense systems actively engaging the aircraft. The SIRFC will have application on scout/attack, utility, cargo, special operations, and special electronic mission aircraft. The SIRFC will provide defensive, offensive, active and passive countermeasures (ECM) to ensure optimum protection against Active, Pulse Doppler, Pulse, Monopulse Radar, and Continuous Wave radars. The SIRFC will replace the AN/APR-39A(V)1 radar warning receiver, the AN/ALQ-136(V)1/5 radar jammer and the ALQ-144 and will give added countermeasures against monopulse, continuous wave, and pulse Doppler threats.
The SIRFC is a modular and configurable system whose weight is dependent on the capability provided. The suite will also interface and integrate with other on-board systems to provide situational awareness and updates of threat information.
The SIRFC contributes to full-dimensional protection by improving individual aircraft probability of survival. In addition, the improved aircrew situational awareness offered by the synergistic effect of SIRFC with other attack aircraft sensors has potential to contribute tactically to precision engagement, and could also contribute tactically to dominant maneuver. SIRFC is intended to be an integrated aircraft survivability system that will provide defensive, offensive, active and passive countermeasures to ensure optimum protection for the host aircraft.
Original plans called for integration of the system on the AH-64D, MH-60K, and MH-47E helicopters, and the CV-22 platforms. The lead aircraft for SIRFC integration and test and evaluation was the AH-64D Longbow Apache. Development continues for Special Operations Command Aircraft, MH-47G, MH-60M, and CV-22, and NH-90 helicopters, as well as International F-16 C/D aircraft. SIRFC has also been selected for the U.S. Army Aerial Common Sensor aircraft and the Theater Support Vessel. In addition, the U.S. Army intends to install the ALQ-211 on the CH-47, UH-60 in the future.
The SIRFC core consists of an Advanced Radar Warning Receiver and an Advanced Radar Jammer. The core Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) design is comprised of four components. The Receiver/Processor containing the receiving, processing, and Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) generation functions. The Remote Transmitter provides the self-protection transmitting capability. The Advanced Countermeasures Module (ACM) provides advanced ECM techniques against a particular class of weapons. Finally, the Antenna Group contains the receive antennas for reception of microwave and millimeter wave signals and transmit antenna for transmission of microwave ECM signals.
The full system will be capable of operating in either an automatic or manual (command) mode. It provides warning (situational awareness) and active jamming (self protection) to defeat threat radar guided weapon systems. Radar guided air defense artillery threat systems include Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA). Future integration of SIRFC with the Suite of Integrated InfraRed CounterMeasures (SIIRCM), in some aircraft which may be equipped with both systems, is a future program objective to optimize multi-spectral threat countermeasures. Threat systems are not only those originating from within the former Soviet Union, but also systems made and proliferated by the United States, U.S. allies, and other weapons producers.
SIRFC entered Milestone I in FY90 with two prototype system deliveries in FY93. In addition to hardware in the loop (bench) testing, Demonstration/Validation testing was conducted at Eglin Air Force Base in an EH-60 aircraft beginning in FY93. SIRFC entered Milestone II in the 1st quarter of FY95 with an EMD contract to produce five production representative systems.
The SIRFC Technology Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) was approved by DOT&E upon submission in the 1st quarter of FY98. EMD deliveries in FY98 supported system and aircraft integration, and contractor and government DT. This phase of testing included bench, environmental, integration laboratory, Installed System Test Facility (ISTF), ground (open air hardware in the loop "pole" testing) and flight testing.
After the system hardware and software has been judged to be production representative, an Operational Test Readiness Review to approve the system for entry into an integrated OT/DT phase will be conducted. Flight testing includes missions designed for direct effectiveness comparison of the SIRFC-equipped AH-64D aircraft, to an AH-64 aircraft equipped with the AN/APR-39A radar warning receiver and the AN/ALQ-136(v)5 Pulse Radar Jammer, which the SIRFC replaces. MS III is currently planned for the 4th Qtr of 2005.
Finally, the end of IOT&E is followed immediately by the MS-III and will require full data analysis, evaluation, and reporting to be completed.
The Technology Application Program Office at Fort Eustis, Virginia, assumed test responsibilities following the Army's decision to not continue development other than for Special Operations applications. The Army made a low-rate initial production (LRIP) decision to produce seven additional units for test and integration on follow-on platforms in May 2002, with full-rate production Milestone III scheduled for FY05. SIRFC IOT&E is planned for FY2005, before the full-rate production decision.
ITT Avionics Division, Clifton NJ
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