Threats are evolving at a rapid pace and in a varied range with antagonists attacking in ways which have not been seen or experienced before.

The ability to detect and defeat threats before they can be seen provides armed forces across the air, sea, land and the edges of space with a critical upper hand in combat. Delivering this critical edge is what Electronic Warfare is all about. The situational awareness that EW provides drives strength in defence.

There has been unprecedented growth in electromagnetic transmissions across the spectrum especially from irregular forces and criminal groups using guerrilla tactics to infiltrate and potentially harm their opponents through to highly orchestrated state funded missions. With increasing traffic and congestion in an electromagnetic bandwidth, there are increased technical challenges faced by detection equipment and EW products need to be able to ‘see through the noise’ in the electromagnetic spectrum to identify and act appropriately against a threat.

Jungle Warfare Unit PFGU4FQ

EW Definitions

EW is defined in three broad categories to create, detect and mitigate threats:

  • Electronic Surveillance (ES)

    Senses electromagnetic activity and deploys informative measures in order to detect the threat. Antennas will be able to search for, intercept, directionally find and analyse electromagnetic activity to identify and monitor potential other threats.

  • Electronic Protection (EP)

    Safeguards electromagnetic activity and deploys defensive activities to neutralise threats and prevent receivers from being jammed. As part of protective measures, antennas are able to swap frequencies randomly and quickly so that a pilot is able to hide themselves from a threat and confuse their adversary. With this method, the threat would have to jam all frequency bands in the hope of succeeding in just one which is much less effective than jamming a specific frequency band.

  • Electronic Attack (EA)

    Is the creation of interference or jamming including as a counter measure which can be deployed to create or prevent threatening electromagnetic activity. Chelton offers EA Training Pods to simulate such threats for the NATO JEWCS programme.

Identifying and disrupting communications

Identifying and disrupting communications can be a daunting task because of the overabundance of frequencies available for exploitation by the enemy. Compact, versatile and resilient antenna technology is an excellent tool for electronic warfare applications. We design and build antennas which can be used in electronic warfare applications to search for, detect and jam a multitude of communication signals. Our testing process is rigorous and ensures antennas can survive even in the most extreme of conditions.

Temp Testing
FA18 Super Hornet Collins Aerospace TCTS

Our custom made 32-2001 antenna for Collins Aerospace, is just one example of a high performance antenna with the ability to survive in harsh environments. The 32-2001 is able to deliver superior wideband performance in some of the most challenging positions on the platform, enduring supersonic speeds and high force turns whilst maintaining high efficiency.

Here it is in action on the F/A-18 Super Hornet which recently completed testing of the Collins Tactical Combat Training System increment II (TCTS II). With TCTS II, EW training can take place between different platforms such as the F-35, Typhoon and F-18. Three 32-2001 antennas are fixed onto the wingtip-mounted pod. A highly demanding location in terms of environmental stresses. The position means the antenna is subject to high side-load forces and will have increased exposure to lightning and rain erosion. To help overcome this, Chelton introduced a new anti-erosion paint so that the antenna can withstand all weather conditions without impacting negatively on gain.

Once this capability is in service, Chelton expect to be producing over a thousand units per annum and look forward to developing more custom antennas and systems to be used both operationally and as part of simulations and training aids. As training and operational preparation increasingly incorporates both live and simulated assets and scenarios, our software and digital approaches are well suited to provide relevance across the Live, Virtual and Constructive (LVC) domains.

At Chelton, we are here for whatever your antenna needs may be so talk to us about your custom developed antennas today.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

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