In February Raytheon has published a news item in which we got to know a few things about the newest version of AN/ALR-69, the A(V).
It is a well known and established radar warning receiver system and now Raytheon has presented a very important upgrade.
The system in it’s basic form allows to achieve “sensors forward” situational awareness and Raytheon markets it as a cheaper solution then other products with the same functionality.
The most important features are:
– suppression of enemy air defenses,
– easy cross-platform integration,
– enhanced spectral and spatial coverage for high-sensitivity detection in dense signal environments
– single-ship geolocation
The system is currently installed on U.S. Air Force C-130H, KC-46A and tested on F-16 aircraft and is compatible with virtually any airborne platform. It provides a 360 degree coverage by each of the four receivers.
The most recent addition to the system is the single-ship Geolocation which has a few nice features:
Without any hardware modifications, the ALR-69A(V) can now offer aircrews more options with its single-ship geolocation capability, a first for any RWR. Before this added capability, aircrews only had a rough direction of the arrival of the threat signals. Now the ALR-69A(V) gives them precise information on ground-based threat locations and precision-direction finding for airborne threats. This added capability enables the ALR-69A to assist with targeting solutions while continuing to identify threats in dense signal environments.
Should Poland invest in it?
Poland currently operates two types of aircraft which could incorporate the latest upgrade. These are 5 C-130E Hercules transport aircraft from the 33rd Airlift Base in Powidz and 48 F-16C/D from bases in Krzesiny and Łask.
Investing in further beefing up the old C-130 doesn’t have much sens. Poland urgently needs new transport aircraft and the easiest solution would be to go for the J as used H versions are rare on the market – everybody loves them and wants to use them as long as it gets.
This leaves us with the F-16. Polish fighters already have the AN/ALQ-211 AIDEWS system with the RWR capability. The question is how good is it and why think about it?
Well the newest Raytheon solution could potentially precisely target a ground based enemy radar, for instance like those used with the S-300 system. This could give extra data to te aircraft offensive systems and help to target the threat which stands next to the Polish border in Kaliningrad. The system is supposed to allow to transfer targeting data and at the same time still do it’s basic job.
Sounds like a nice solution to me. The question is weather the Harris made AN/ALQ-211 can do the same or can get even close to this? The other question would be about the integration cost and further more about other solutions already available in Poland which could do the same thing – meaning send precise data about current S-300 radar locations.
There are many black spots for me in this matter but one way or the other the system sound like a nice addition to aircraft already in inventory if you would like to gain some new capabilities for a reasonable price. Of course it has to fit into a bigger picture of national defense and most importantly the national budget. We will see if any nation except the USA will step up to try this new system.
Photos: courtesy of Piotr Łysakowski