SP Guide Publications puts forth a well compiled articulation of issues, pursuits and accomplishments of the Indian Army, over the years

— General Manoj Pande, Indian Army Chief

I am confident that SP Guide Publications would continue to inform, inspire and influence.

— Admiral R. Hari Kumar, Indian Navy Chief

My compliments to SP Guide Publications for informative and credible reportage on contemporary aerospace issues over the past six decades.

— Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari, Indian Air Force Chief

Lockheed Martin F-16IN - EWS: Survivability Assured

Issue: 06-2009By Orville Prins, Vice President, Business Development, Lockheed Martin, IndiaIllustration(s): By Orville_Prins.jpg

The digital, multi-spectral, re-programmable advanced internal Electronic Warfare System of the F-16IN Super Viper is all about WINNING

In modern air warfare, fighter combat is a high speed, three-dimensional chess game with multiple players and little time to calculate your next move. Sophisticated weapon systems operating sensors across the frequency spectrum populate the game. Providing information on what is a threat, and what is not—hiding you, shielding you, defending you—is the Electronic Warfare System (EWS). It alerts you to the threat, keeps it in check, and guides your next move. In modern air combat, you cannot win without it.

The digital, multi-spectral, re-programmable advanced internal EWS of the F-16IN Super Viper is all about winning. From electronic intelligence gathering, to ensuring safe penetration of an air defence system, fending off threats during weapon delivery, providing a safe egress, and post-mission electronic order of battle assessment, the F-16IN EWS is custom designed to meet and exceed the Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) requirements of the Indian Air Force. It is the ultimate in fighter electronic warfare, ensuring success in every phase of the mission.

E-Warfare to the Fore
Deceit, disruption and destruction have always been a part of war. Systems that strengthen, support and protect forces have been used and improved throughout time. Electronic warfare is one facet of war that takes these activities to the extreme, and it has an interesting history. A naval operation during World War I may have been the first use of electronic warfare when the British used coastal radio direction finders to monitor the movement of the German fleet prior to the Battle of Jutland. In World War II, the role of electronic warfare became crucial to many large-scale operations. It was then that electronic warfare evolved to incorporate all three—“measures”, “counter-measures” and “counter counter-measures”.

Electronic warfare became an essential part of air combat during the Vietnam War. Measures were taken to counter the lethal radar-guided surface-to-air missile systems. EW systems for fighters were developed to find and attack surfaceto-air missile sites. For self-protection, specialised pods with EW systems in them were mounted under the wings of some fighters. Bombers such as the B-52 Stratofortress used powerful internal EW systems to confuse the enemy radars and missiles. Electronic warfare during this era provided many lessons to both air defence systems and self-protection systems. Throughout the Cold War, advances in radar guided missiles presented an ever-increasing threat to air combat operations. The means to counter the evolving threat became essential to mission success in the modern battlespace.

The Radar Jammer
As the threat to the fighter evolved, fighter EW systems became more sophisticated. Detecting and alerting the pilot to the presence of radars and missile guidance signals, the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) first used crystal radio receivers and then evolved from heterodyne systems to the digital, channelised systems of today. The companion to the fighter RWR, the radar “jammer”, has become an essential EW system component.

At first, jammers were used to simply “blind” enemy radars. As air defence radars and defence networks became more sophisticated, “deception techniques” were developed to deceive enemy radars. As these measures were used, air defence systems developed a counter counter-measure, “home on jam”, which is the capability of radars and missile guidance systems to used the jammer signal as a beacon and lock onto it.

Aircraft jammer technology subsequently evolved counter-counter-measures, such as subtle deceptive jamming techniques, to prevent counter-countermeasure circuitry in the air defence systems from using or defeating the jamming signal. As the power of the threat radar signals increased, the power required for overriding that signal also increased, and the fighter jammer design turned to miniature tubes and microwave power modules for increased signal strength. The modern jammer design can broadcast powerful signals to “blind” threatening radars, and develop subtle counter signals to deceive radars and missile guidance systems.

Attack & Confuse
The EW suite of the F-16IN works in concert with reduced radar, infrared (IR) and visual signatures to deny the enemy the ability to detect the Super Viper or aim accurately or shoot or accurately guide missiles. The F-16IN EWS attacks and confuses a large part of the enemy’s “kill chain”—from detection to engagement—and it covers the entire spectrum of possible threats. The data from the EWS, combined with data from other sensors and aircraft, intuitively formats on the three largescreen, full colour displays in the F-16IN cockpit. The goal of the F-16IN EWS is to enhance situation awareness and survivability during any encounter with a threat.

The capability of the F-16IN EWS begins even before the mission is planned. Data on the enemy threat disposition, the location of his defences, the types of defence system he uses, is loaded into the automated mission planning system. Combined with other indigenous intelligence information, this data is used to form an Electronic Order of Battle (EOB). The F-16IN Mission Planning System ensures the availability of this EOB to all mission planners, pilots, and intelligence specialists. Every mission planned will have the most recent EOB developed, but things rarely occur exactly as planned in the modern battlespace. For this reason, every F-16IN is also conducting electronic surveillance of the battlespace.

Whether flying a combat air patrol mission inside friendly airspace, or on a low altitude strike mission deep inside hostile territory, the EWS of every F-16IN flying is working behind the scenes to detect new emissions of interest and record data on them for analysis after the mission. As the Super Viper EW system is providing advanced self-protection, detected threats are documented, including threats that probably could not be detected from dedicated surveillance aircraft flying inside friendly airspace. In peacetime, as the F-16IN intercepts and escorts aircraft that have strayed off course, the emissions are recorded. It is the ultimate in Net-centric electronic surveillance: distributed real time detection and signal measurement.