AN/ALR-69 Radar Warning Receiver
The ALR-69 Class IV Radar Warning Receiver [RWR] system provides the following functional capabilities: RF threat situational awareness, threat signal processing, reprogrammability, associated defensive support equipment and training equipment, and future Electronic Warfare (EW) interfaces to other avionics defensive/offensive equipment. The RWR system detects, identifies, processes and displays airborne interceptor (AI), surface-to-air missile (SAM) and anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) weapon systems. Situation awareness provides the crew with threat type, emitter mode and threat angle-of-arrival (AOA) information. The RWR system integrated diagnostics provide the crew and maintenance personnel system diagnostics data. The RWR Blanking Interface allows on-board systems to partially or totally inhibit the RWR's ability to collect data
The AN/ALR-69 continuously monitors the radar environment to alert the pilot of any hostile or foreign activity that may be taking place. When it receives a radar signature it compares that signature to its database of threats and displays a graphical symbol of that radar so the aircrew can see what kind of radar is "painting" their aircraft; whether it be friend or foe. If the system determines the radar is an immediate threat it will give a distinctive audible warning. The system is updated continuously as new threats are encountered or to improve system operation. The system is manufactured by Litton.
The AN/ALR-69 RWR has been installed on Air National Guard (ANG), United States Air Force (USAF) and USAF Reserve F-16 (except Block 50), A-10, AC-130, MC-130H Combat Talon II, and the HH-53 aircraft. The AN/ALR-69 RWR is a mature system and has been in continuous service since the mid 1970s.
The AN/ALR-69 represented early-1970s technology. As such, by the early 1990s, the system had become non-supportable because of obsolete components and saturated embedded memory. As a result, Center and contractor engineers and technicians designed and developed a Reliability and Maintainability (R&M) modification for the system. In turn, Air Force personnel conducted a Qualification Operational Test and Evaluation (QOT&E) on the production hardware from June to August 1993.The Air Force established a modification program to improve reliability and maintainability as well as the system's performance in geo-locating threat emitters and in specific emitter identification. The resulting system will be designated the ALR-69A. As required by the Operational Requirements Document, only minor changes to the aircraft installation provisions will be necessary.
The development of the ALR-69A is to be a spiral development. The first phase of the development, the Core program, addresses the issue of obsolescent parts and incorporates digital receiver technology. This effort will reduce the number of line replaceable unit types in the system from nine to five, and the total number of line replaceable units from twelve to eight.
The second phase, known as the Increment, incorporates software algorithms that improve the resolution of time and angle measurements. These improved resolutions will lead to an improved direction finding capability and, in turn, a geolocation capability. The Increment also provides the capability for specific emitter identification. Development of the Increment capability is under contract. The program suffered from technical difficulties that have resulted in a slip of approximately one year and a growth of development costs from $36.5M to $63M. Development of the Core system for the C-130 aircraft is proceeding, and development for the F-16 has begun. Contracts for aircraft integration have yet to be established.
In FY94, AN/ALR-69 engineers, supported by contractor personnel, undertook software changes to the Mission Data (MD) and Operational Flight Program (OFP), in conjunction with the hardware upgrade. The software effort involved the conversion of the software from 9445 to 1750 computer language and the incorporation of over 120 Operational Software Change Requests (SCRs). This proved to be an extraordinary modification since system programmers normally incorporate only 20-30 software changes at one time. The effort was worth the trouble since these software changes incorporated the latest threat data information.
The hardware and software changes to the system provided numerous benefits including improved reliability of the system from about 110 hours to about 244 hours and elimination of obsolete components and the inclusion of adjustable components from the Signal Processor LRU which had experienced numerous support problems. This also meant that the maintenance time for this LRU decreased by half improving Center personnel's ability to process assets in support of user requirements.
Other improvements entailed providing for a 1553B data bus interface with other ECM and avionics systems on the aircraft and total flightline programming of the system with MD and OFP software updates. This resulted in about $500,000 savings annually due to the use of Electronically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEPROM) hardware kits. Systems programmers increased embedded memory capacity from 12K Random Access Memory (RAM) and 40K EEPROM in the old system to 128K RAM and 256K EEPROM in the modified system. They also enhanced the BIT system which allowed the user to detect LRU failures on the aircraft within one minute, and which meet the requirements for two levels of maintenance on the system. Programmers improved processing speeds for threat information received by the system, and they ameliorated the system's threat detection capability through the incorporation of over 293 Operational Software changes.
From June 4, 1993 through July 23, 1993 the Air National Guard Air Force Reserve Test Center (AATC) conducted a qualification operational test and evaluation (QOT&E) for the AN/ALR-69 reliability and maintainability (R&M) modification. The R&M modification was necessary at the time to avert support problems. More specifically, the R&M modification entailed the replacement of the aging AN/ALR-69 system processor and controller with more modern supportable components. Following successful completion of the QOT&E for the R&M modification, the ALR-69 Product Improvement Program (PIP) was initiated in 1993 to replace the current ALR-69 receiver with an advanced crystal video receiver. The first platforms scheduled to receive the ACVR equipped ALR-69s include the HH-60 PAVEHAWK Air Force Combat Search and Rescue Helicopter and F-16 fighter aircraft.
The AN/ALR-69 Class IV Modification package on F-16s was sold to the Portuguese Air Force (POAF) in the 1990s. The POAF has been a participant in the AN/ALR-69 Electronic Combat International Security Assistance Program (ECISAP) managed by FMS at WR-ALC. Officials designated the project code name for this specific program Peace Atlantis, with the applicable weapon system being the F-16 A/B Fighting Falcon fighter aircraft. Through FMS offices at Robins AFB, POAF leaders purchased 20 Falcons with the initial delivery having taken place in mid-1994. In early 1995, part way through the aircraft delivery process, POAF officials requested that they be allowed to also incorporate the AN/ALR-69 RWR Class IV Modification package on the F-16s they were receiving. Air Force and POAF leaders undertook this process under the tenets of two implementing documents: a Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA) dated 25 January 1995 and a Command Case Directive (CCD) dated 27 February 1995.
During FY96, the OFP for the USAF flight testing of the Mod IV system was delayed due to minor software glitches and discrepancies. As a result, officials required that additional testing be conducted in the engineering labs at WR-ALC. As alluded to above, the subsequent alterations ordered by USAF leaders did not greatly impact the FMS OFP; however, the FMS OFP could not be fielded until the USAF baselined their OPF. Of course, this meant that there was a delay in the delivery of the initial AN/ALR-69 Class IV Mod software to Portugal. Thus, the initial shipments did not occur until FY97.
In late FY97, to prevent further inconvenience to this important Air Force customer, officials in LN's International Logistics Division (WR-ALC/LNI) agreed to deliver immediately an interim software package containing most of the requested emitters to the POAF. However, engineers developed this package to be used for training purposes only, pending delivery of the permanent Class IV Mod package. Officials of the POAF accepted this option since it met their immediate needs in a timely fashion and at a minimal cost.
The Advanced Crystal Video Receiver [ACVR] upgrade contributes to full-dimensional protection by improving individual aircraft probability of survival through improved air crew situation awareness of the radar guided threat environment. The ACVR consist of radio frequency (RF) Triplexer, Extended Range Dual Log Video Amplifier (ERDLVA) and Logic Board. The ACVR will replace the existing preamplifier of the ALR-69 Radar Warning Receiver (RWR). The ACVR will provide increased receiver sensitivity, increased dynamic range, and increased pulse density and signal processing capability. Additionally, the ACVR will reduce maintenance costs through improved reliability and maintainability and enhanced Built-In-Test (BIT).
The ACVR upgrade is designed to increase the types of threats that the ALR-69 can detect and classify and should improve detection range and direction finding accuracy. More specifically, the ACVR upgrade should enable the ALR-69 to process both airborne and ground pulse Doppler threat emitters. RF pulse density processing requirements for ACVR are necessarily increased by orders of magnitude over previous emitter environments tested against.
The Operational Requirements Document (ORD) and the Test and Evaluation Master Plan (TEMP) for the ALR-69 are being updated to include the ACVR. The ACVR TEMP for the F-16/A-10/C-130 aircraft is currently in preparation at Warner Robins Air Force Base Air Logistics Center (ALC). The HH-60 Integrated Electronic Warfare System (IEWS) ORD articulates the requirement for radar warning in the HH-60 PAVEHAWK helicopter. The principle developmental testing of the ALR-69 ACVR prior to QOT&E field testing in either the HH-60 or F-16, is planned to be conducted in the Electronic Warfare Avionics Integration Support Facility (EWAISF) at Warner Robbins AFB. The EWAISF testing is currently scheduled to start in December 1997 with test completion in August 1998. At this time it is not clear whether QT&E and QOT&E of the ALR-69 ACVR will occur first on the HH-60 or the F-16 aircraft. The lengthy delay in the entire ACVR program since the R&M upgrade in 1993 has been attributed to software development problems.
DOT&E staff will continue to monitor and participate in test planning activities through attendance of ALR-69 ACVR TPWGs.
Although no operational testing has been conducted, an adequate test program is being structured. The Test Director intends to re-baseline the full capabilities of the ALR-69 with the ACVR upgrade. QOT&E will conduct baseline testing of ALR-69 performance with ACVR compared to the ALR-69 alone. All major effectiveness and suitability performance parameters will be evaluated. The focus of testing will include:
- Testing against available airborne and ground pulse, continuous wave, and pulse Doppler threats
- Operating equipment in dense pulse environment
- Determining increased receiver sensitivity impacts on false alarm rate, compatibility, and pilot overload and confusion
- Quantifying improvements in direction finding accuracy
Testing will likely include all pulse Doppler threats and the majority of pulse and continuous wave threats available at the Western Test Range (WTR) and the Electronic Warfare Threat Environment Simulation (EWTES) Range. Additional testing may also be conducted at one of the hybrid, hardware-in-the-loop simulation facilities, such as at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Surrogate aircraft will be used for threat aircraft. Flights will include both onboard jamming and non-jamming missions.
Advanced Crystal Video Receiver [ACVR]|
Air Force ACAT III Program
Total program cost (TY$) $87.35M
Average unit cost (TY$) $12.5K
Full-rate production 1QFY01
No Prime Contractor has been identified at this time for the Advanced Crystal Video Receiver [ACVR]. Warner Robins Air Logistic Center is the responsible government integrator for the ACVR program.
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