Echidna Phase 2A Electronic Warfare Self Protection (EWSP)

Blackhawk helicopter hovering over water
The Echidna Phase 2A Project system comprises airborne EW Self Protection (EWSP) systems for the Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters, pre and post mission support facilities for the Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Unit (JEWOSU) and Mission Planning and training systems at the operational base

Collectively, these system components form a closed loop operational environment for conducting the primary missions of each Echidna Phase 2A Project platform providing greater self protection and EW support against Infra Red (IR) and Radio Frequency (RF) based threats.

EW Controller:
The Echidna Phase 2A Project aircraft will be equipped with sensors to cover the RF and IF threat and countermeasure systems appropriate to the payload and flight characteristics of each platform. As a minimum, all aircraft will be equipped with an expendable chaff/flare countermeasure dispenser and a degree of manoeuvre cuing. An EW Controller ensures sensors and countermeasure systems operate in an integrated fashion and provide the aircrew with improved situational awareness of the EW battlefield.

The ground based Mission Data System is an integral element of the Echidna Phase 2A systems and provides aircrew with the capability to plan an EW mission at an operational base, as well as conduct post mission analysis and mission replay. an Integrated EW Mission Support System (IEWMSS) located at the JEWOSU Defence Unit further enhances the adapability of the Echidna EWSP System to meet the current and future needs of the Defence Force.

Operationally, the airborne EWSP systems will provide a background function of defence against weapon systems which employ the electromagnetic spectrum to assist in attacking the aircraft. The Echidna Phase 2A Project EWSP systems is aimed at providing the “evade, avoid, survive” philosophy; which is aimed at keeping the aircraft as far away as possible from danger by supplying the flight crew with situational awareness and the capability to defend the aircraft against attack. The EWSP systems is aimed at providing automatic detection and response against threats, while allowing the aircrew to interact and control the responses if desired.

The operational imperatives dictate that the EWSP systems provide a high degree of user flexibility, minimal user work load and optimised user information which is adaptable to a broad range of aircraft and physical environments. The airborne EWSP systems must also be:

• Responsive to other operational planning factors

• Compatible with their companion support systems and overall mission

• Allow the entire Echidna Phase 2A Project EW system to function coherently in the time required to respond to the dynamics of operational life

• Accessible for operations conducted from home bases or deployed/remote locations

• Adaptable and expandable to include additional sensor types and countermeasures systems