Latest flight trial confirms Echidna System on track
The Echidna 2A Electronic Warfare Self Protection (EWSP) system that will soon protect the Australian Army’s Black Hawk helicopter fleet has successfully completed another series of critical flight trials.
BAE Systems today confirmed that it had jointly conducted with the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) a full airborne trial of the Echidna system over the Woomera area in May.
The EWSP system showcases BAE Systems Australia’s indigenous ALR-2002 Radar Warning Receiver and EW Controller.
These elements, as well as specially selected missile approach sensors and chaff/flare dispensers to complete the Echidna suite, were installed in a BAE Systems-designed flight test pod mounted on a Lear jet.
Graeme Bent, BAE Systems’ Echidna Program Manager, said that the main objectives of the latest Echidna test flights had been to demonstrate system level maturity and to gather valuable flight data.
“This data is crucial to support the ongoing qualification and testing process in the company’s Systems Integration laboratory at Edinburgh Parks.”
Mr Bent said the latest trial exercised the whole system, including full countermeasures tactics functionality, in-flight training, and other features unique to the Echidna system.
“We were very pleased with the outcome of the two test flights. All test objectives were achieved,” he said.
Mr Bent said BAE Systems would now concentrate on final preparations for formal qualification and acceptance testing of the system in August.
“This will lead to actual flight trials on a Black Hawk in the last quarter of 2009.”
The system that will be installed on the helicopters includes Radar Warning and Missile Warning Receivers, a Countermeasures Dispensing System, dedicated controls, and integrated EWSP display.
Echidna is designed to enhance the EWSP capabilities of the Black Hawk and other selected Australian Defence Force aircraft to improve their survivability in combat.
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