Airbus Defence and Space’s Business Line Electronics has presented a new generation of electronic protection systems in a series of field tests and demonstrations in a Northern European country. The performance of newly developed electronic warfare systems, which offer troops operating in the world’s hot spots a level of protection which was previously unachievable, was demonstrated under extreme winter weather conditions.
Following experience gathered in Iraq and Afghanistan, Airbus Defence and Space has reacted with these systems to the customers’ changing requirements for more compact, mobile systems to integrate the electronic warfare tasks of what previously were separate units. This means that intelligence systems, which detect and evaluate hostile radio traffic, now combine the ability to produce targeted jamming signals for defined frequencies. Previously, this required dedicated equipment which was not very mobile, and required a lot of power and space.
The development activities were concentrated on targeted jamming of remote-controlled roadside bombs (RCIEDs) – one of the main threats in international missions. For this purpose, Airbus Defence and Space has developed the so-called “Smart Responsive Jamming” technology, which detects ignition signals in a fraction of a second and, in contrast to conventional jamming techniques, targets just the frequency of the hostile signal. Amongst other uses, this provides protection to vehicle convoys travelling through dangerous areas and also to explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) teams, against the delayed triggering of roadside bombs.
The tests also focused on jamming modern frequency-hopping radios over relatively great distances, which is only poorly supported by the jamming systems currently used. The newly integrated SMARTscout intelligence system delivered extraordinarily good results in the area of communications intelligence (COMINT).