AEW&C Aircraft Undergoes Self-Protection Tests

10 November 2009 (Last Updated November 10th, 2009 18:30)

Australia's airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft has completed tests for the countermeasures dispenser system (CMDS). The 737 AEW&C aircraft, based on the Boeing 737-700 commercial airplane, provides airborne battle-management capability with an advanced multirole

Australia's airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft has completed tests for the countermeasures dispenser system (CMDS).

The 737 AEW&C aircraft, based on the Boeing 737-700 commercial airplane, provides airborne battle-management capability with an advanced multirole electronically scanned radar and ten mission crew consoles.

The aircraft can simultaneously track airborne and maritime targets while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.

The tests were conducted by Boeing in September and October 2009 as part of the verification of the AEW&C aircraft's overall electronic warfare self-protection (EWSP) capability.

EWSP warns aircrew about, and protects against, missiles targeting the aircraft. The CMDS releases chaff and flares in response to a threat, to decoy incoming missiles away from the aircraft.

The test for Australia's Project Wedgetail included 19 flights that dispensed more than 500 units of chaff and flares.

Data has been collected during the test with the help of five high-speed video cameras mounted on the Wedgetail aircraft and an additional video camera attached to a T-33 chase plane.

Boeing AEW&C programmes electronic warfare manager Kermit Hollinger said that the testing programme verified that the Boeing-installed self-protection system would effectively counter its intended threats.

Project Wedgetail includes six 737 AEW&C aircraft and ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance.