BAE achieves Project Echidna milestone

Delivery of an Electronic Warfare Self Protection (EWSP) capability for the Australian Army’s fleets of Blackhawk and Chinook aircraft is a major step closer following a successful test of key components.
BAE Systems says in a press release that it has successfully carried out a flight test on its “Echidna” EWSP system, using a specially configured electronics pod mounted on a Lear jet.

The initial flight trial, which was conducted north of Adelaide, concentrated on the detection, identification and tracking of emitters.

The same configuration was tested in BAE Systems laboratories prior to the flight.

BAE Systems Australia Managing Director Jim McDowell said both the lab and flight trials had provided valuable data towards helping to finalise system integration.
“The trials have also given us significant confidence in the maturity of the Echidna system as it entered the final stages of acceptance testing,” he said.

McDowell said a second airborne trial is planned for May that will be used to gather further in-flight information about system performance and enable fine tuning of the system.
“This trial will exercise the whole system, including in-flight training capability and full countermeasures functionality. It will use a final release of the EW Controller software and final configurations of EW sub-systems prior to entry to system acceptance testing.”

Echidna is designed to enhance the EWSP capabilities of selected ADF aircraft thereby improving their survivability in combat.

The Phase 2A Project System developed by BAE Systems comprises 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.

The system to be installed on the Black Hawk includes Radar Warning and Missile Warning Receivers, Countermeasures Dispensing System, dedicated controls, and integrated EWSP display.

For larger platforms, the system is designed to include additional sensor and countermeasures types.