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July 2011 www.avionicstoday.com Equipment for Police Helicopters Certifyin g Aircraft for ADS-B Product Focus: Data Acquisition RAFALE IN COMBAT

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July 2011www.avionicstoday.comEquipment for Police HelicoptersCertifying Aircraft for ADS-BProduct Focus: Data AcquisitionRAFALEIN COMBAT20 Avionics Magazine July 2011 www.avionicstoday.commilitaryThe French fighter jet, equipped with imaging processing, munition and targeting pods, demonstrates its power in missions over LibyaBy Jean-Michel GuhlOnly a few European manu-facturers produce and devel-op high-tech fighter aircraft. The Eurofighter and the Rafale are the final con-tenders selected by the Indian air force in the 125+ aircraft purchase program to replace that services old MiG-21 fleet. Both companies are gloating about their respective fighters warfighting qualities while both aircraft demonstrate excellent combat readiness over the Libyan theatre. If the nearly decade long anti-Taliban air operations in Afghanistan have kept deployed French air force Mirages, Rafales and Super-Etendards busy on a drop off mode, everything changed in early 2011 when the French Rafales succesfully carried out a series of preci-sion attacks on Colonel Gaddafis forces in Libya. The Arme de lAirs Rafales conducted, as early as March 19, 6- to 7-hour, pre-strike reconnaissance mis-sions along the Libyan coastline from their home base in Metropolitan France, assisted by Mirage F1CRs used to collect specific photographic target confirma-tions. Then a night later, Mirage 2000D fighter-bombers and Rafales struck tar-gets deep inside Libya, assisted by United States and the United Kingdom. With the delivery of the 100th Rafale scheduled for this summer, Dassault Avia-tion will reach a landmark in the aircrafts production order, which so far stands at 190 for the French air force (71 Rafale Cs and 79 Rafale Bs) and navy (40 Rafale Ms). Production of the Rafale for the French forces is secured until 2019 and is expected to last until 2025. Its lifespan has been set at 50 years, and current plan by the French Ministry of Defense is to equip the navy with 58 Rafale Ms and air force with 228 Rafale B/Cs. By the end of this decade, the Rafale will replace all of the fighter types in service in France (lest a few remaining hundred Mirage 2000D fighter-bombers and Mirage 2000-5F interceptors), and all military aircraft production in France is now geared to the Rafale and its systems.The Rafale has been produced in three standards: the F1 for the French navy from mid-2004 10 aircraft plus 3 for the French air force now retrofitted to F3 standard also called Tranche 1; F2 for the French air force and navy from mid-2006 48 aircraft since retrofitted to F3 standard also called Tranche 2; and F3 for the French air force and navy since mid-2008 59 aircraft still in the process of delivery also called Tranche 3; with 60 more to be delivered under Tranche 4 (described as F3+) with series production Thales RBE2/AA active elec-tronically scanned array (AESA) radar.This summer, the French navy will muster two flottilles of Rafales (12F and 11F) operating from the aircraft car-rier Charles-de-Gaulle; and the Air Force a total of four squadrons EC 1/7, EC Rafale in CFrench Air Force Dassault Rafales, pictured at the Solenzara air base flightline in Corsica, are armed and ready to depart for Libyan airspace. All carry a pair of 580-gallon drop tanks for their 6- to 7-hour sorties.Photo/Jean-Michel Guhlwww.avionicstoday.com July 2011 Avionics Magazine 211/91 and ETR 2/92 at Saint Dizier air base in France, and EC 3/30 at Al Dhafra air base in the UAE. ECE 5/330 at Mont-de-Marsan is a further test squadron used for the permanent evaluation and updat-ing of the Rafales systems and weapons. In 2012, a fifth Rafale squadron will be commissioned at Mont-de-Marsan, EC 2/30. Current plans call for the air force to fly three flottilles of Rafale Ms after 2015 and air force some 10 squadrons by 2020.This year, 94 aircraft will be retrofit-ted to the F3 standard. Next standard of Rafale, now in early production, will be called F3+ (or F3-04T) and will include the Thales RBE2/AA AESA radar, a 360 threat detector (MBDAs missile approach warning system) and a frontal sector optics set (Sagems FSO-IT), all designed to improve data fusion and situ-ational awareness. Our aim is to keep the Rafale at top level of performance and interoper-ability. As it is set today, the aircrafts architecture and platform show that the Rafale will not need any further hardware changes before its mid-life update which should take place around 2025. However a detailled roadmap for the aircraft still has to be built, said IGA Stphane Reb, the Rafale program manager at the Direc-tion Gnrale de lArmement (DGA), the French Procurement Agency. Fur-ther equipments are being developed to increase the Rafales lethality. Topics under scrutiny include the inte-gration of the MBDA Meteor supersonic BVR air-to-air missile in 2018 and the laser-guided version of the Sagem Arme-ment Air-Sol Modulaire (AASM), plus the development of low collateral dam-age kinetic bombs; the development by Thales of a more powerful laser designa-tion pod; and the adoption of additional modes for the Thales RBE2/AA AESA radar, tactical data link 16 upgrades and electronic warfare suite improvements on the Spectra system.Advanced SystemsThe 2011 air war operations over Libya have brought the focus on some of the Rafales equipment, notably the Thales Areos advanced digital reconnaisance pod (known as Reco-NG in France); the Thales Damocles laser designation pod; and the Sagem AASM 250-kg INS-guid-ed rocket bomb.Thales Areos: See, Decide, Act is just the basic operational process that armed forces need to control during war operations, just as in Libya, where the risk of civilian collateral damage is pres-ent. A timely day/night image intelligence (IMINT) is required to feed correct infor-mation into the observe, orient, decide and act (OODA) decision cycle, and it needs a full IMINT system rather than a puzzle of isolated equipment specified on stand alone performance criteria. The Thales Reco-NG (or Areos for export, Airborne REconnaissance Obser-vation System) is a 2,000-pound digital recce pod designed to be adaptable to any modern tactical fighter. According to Thales, it meets the full spectrum of oper-ational requirements in a broad range of scenarios and weather conditions because it integrates digital technology, both in the sensor/detector solutions and the real time/non-real time transmission capabil-ity. It is also interoperable with other allied nations using STANAG 7023 and 4545 for imagery, and STANAG 7085 for tactical datas.Operational on the Rafale since last December, and after a long debugging trial period, the French recce nacelle now used over the Libyan theatre boasts sophisticated operational automatic imagery collection modes. It is particu-larly suited to single-seat aircraft, a fact which was validated when the system was first deployed over Afghanistan by the French navy last December. Reco-NG/Areos serial production was launched by the French Ministry of Defense in 2005 for both the air force and navy in order to replace the dedicated Mirage F1CRs of the French air force and the Super-tendards of the French navy. To date 10 pods have been delivered by Thales to the French amed forces. A total of 20 pods are on order to equip the air force (12) and the navy (8) with delivery ombatto be completed by the end of next year. Two were ordered by DGA in 2009, six in 2010, six in 2011, and six will be ordered next year. According to DGA, Areos provides day identification capabilities that are two-and-a-half times better than those of the Mirage F1CRs Presto wet-film system and 8 times better than those of the legacy SDS250 photo pod of the Super-tendard. Some 20 French pilots have been qualified on the Reco-NG sys-tem so far. Reco-NG/Areos has been designed to cope with the most stringent require-ments by coalition and NATO forces today, from low level, high speed to medium and high level/long stand off imagery collection in a single pod.Among its key features are digital ele-ments which increase day/night IMINT collection capabilities at long stand-off and short ranges; shorten the intelligence cycle and the operational tempo from hours to a few minutes with a very accu-rate target location capability; increase intelligence timeliness in the theater; increase flexibility in the operational use of IMINT collection systems to adapt to changes in weather conditions or tactical threats changes during the mission; and ensure operational/technical interopera-bility through technical standards agreed within the international community.The Reco-NG/Areos pod performanc-es are based on two day/night sensors. One sensor for short, medium and long collection ranges (Dual Band Sensor DB-STARS, band 2) is integrated in the front section and one sensor for low level/high speed imagery (Infra Red Line Scanner band 3) is integrated in the rear section.The DB-STARS collects imagery on large areas with the wide field-of-view sensors, day and night, and can also acquire very high resolution imagery with The long focal lens of the Areos (Reco-NG) digital reconnaissance pod provides several gigabytes of high-definition imag-esthat can be transmitted during flight.Photo/Jean-Michel Guhl22 Avionics Magazine July 2011 www.avionicstoday.comthe narrow fields of view. It includes a video mode to turn around selected targets and improve their 3-D rendition on screen. The images processing tools on board the Reco-NG nacelle include a user inter-face that is optimized for a single-seat platform, the pilot receiving proof of the pictures snapped by the aircraft directly in his cockpit head-down display. Using a specific encrypted radio data link capac-ity, information can then be selected, transmitted and exploited in real time. Finally the IRLS is used to collect in the same time high resolution imagery on those selected locations mainly based on the detection of activity or environment aspects in the infrared spectrum.The present Reco-NG/Areos data link architecture has been designed to offer a real-time and non-real-time image transmission capability at Line of Sight ranges with a 360 coverage, thanks to the two antennas on the pod extremeties. The specific hybrid duplex architecture integrates two datalinks, one for the link quality management, one for the imagery downlinking. For the post-mission phase, the French armed forces use SAIM-NG/MINDS, a Multisensor Multispectral Image Exploitation System, which is the main tool for the French intelligence officer. Designated SAIM-NG, Mobile Multisensor Image Exploitation Ground System Nouvelle Gnration, it uses near real-time acquisition units, very large data base management, data pro-cessing, including fusion and decision aiding tools, and communication net-works. The SAIM/SAIM-NG system is operational in the French air force, navy and army. Initially defined for the specific use of manned reconnaissance sensors, SAIM is now more and more used for the exploitation of UAV and battle field MTI and SAR surveillance systems. Thales Damocles: Delivered just in time for the air operations in Libya, the Damocles targeting pod, designed by Thales, is an updated variant of the Damocles nacelle used on the Mirage 2000-9, the Super-tendard Modernis, the Sukhoi 30MKM, the Tornado IDS and the Mirage F1M. It is a multi-func-tion, 525-pound targeting pod compatible with existing and future weapons systems. It is comparable to the Lockheed Martin Sniper AN/AAQ-33 or the Northrop Grumman Litening AN/AAQ-28(V). Equipped with an eye-safe laser range-finder, it is fully operational in all weather conditions, on all sorts of theatres and benefits from a modular design for future upgrade, according to Thales. If the first 10 nacelles were purchased in 2010 under a crash program, some 20 more are on order to equip the Arme de lAir and the Aronavales Rafales.Main feature of the Damocles is an advanced STANAG 3733-compatible technology nacelle featuring a staring array detector in the spectral band 3 to 5 m, robust tracking systems, image pro-cessing and 3-D location and laser spot detection. Its powerful laser and high res-olution imagery provide the Rafale with a long stand-off range and fair tactical ground/air defence system survivability.Its main functions are for air-to-ground strike and reconnaissance, but it can also be used for air-to-air optical surveillance and day/night visual air-borne target identification. Damocles is compatible with laser guided weapons, INS/GPS guided missiles and imagery-guided weapons and allows attacks in autonomous or cooperative mode, using an integrated laser spot tracker. Its high MCNTREAL CTTAWA CHlCAGC www.cmcelectronics.caIntegriFlight SBAS/WAAS GPS Receiver Worldwide primary means navigation Fully lnfeqrafed and sfand-alone soluflons, oll-fhe-shell Cpflmlzed lor ease ol refrolf lfra-lnfeqrlfy Befa-3/Delfa-4 recelver nmafched rellablllfyOn the Button Accuracy Complefe Soluflons New or RefrolfThe Thales Damocles targeting pod, pictured here installed under the star-board air intake of a Rafale, provides a long stand-off range and fair tactical ground/air defence system survivability.Photo/Jean-Michel Guhlwww.avionicstoday.com July 2011 Avionics Magazine 23ADVERTISING SALES REPSTish DrakePublisher/East Coast SalesT: 800-325-0156E-mail:[email protected] JoyceWest Coast/International Sales ManagerT: 480-607-5040Cell: 303-641-5505E-mail: [email protected] energy and high resolution laser imagery provides long secu-rity range and high level of surv-ability. It can be used for battle damage assessment at long range and includes target recognition capability, 3-D localisation and integrated navigation FLIR.Thirty Rafale F3s have been retroftted with the Thales [email protected] TRA 6034 VHF/UHF secure radios. The SDR-architected radio covers 30 to 600 MHz for full joint/combined operations. It supports voice, data (EPM 250 kbits/s) and imagery. These radios are used in conjuc-tion with the L3 Rover video sys-tem required by CAS operations in Afghanistan. Compatible with current NATO and national standards, the radio is claimed to meet the dual challenges of enhanced interoperability across the VHF/UHF spectrum and the new requirements of Network Centric Warfare. Sagem AASM: In the face of wretched Libyan Air Force aerial operations, most of the aircraft destroyed by French military aircraft so far have been pinned on the ground with bombs, specifically the AASM, a stand-off precision guided munition (PGM) system using both GPS and inertial guidance. Developers said it fills the capability gap between laser-guided bombs with limited range and requiring continuous laser illumination towards the target and more expensive cruise missiles that provide longer range.A new French smart weapon used for the very first time in Afghanistan in 2007, the AASM is also designated Smart Bomb Unit SBU-38 Hammer by NATO. For us, the SBU-38 Ham-mer is primarily an exceptional all-weather precision guided munition. Secondly, it is a fantastic tool to strike several targets in a single pass, said a French commandant com-manding the third escadrille (Br 66) of the Saint-Dizier-based EC 1/91 Gascogne. The major advantage we now have with this French-designed PGM is that it is both a powered and a manu-vrable bomb. We can launch it in a clearly stand-off mode and completely off-boresight. On top of that, we can attack static targets with extreme final precision, thanks to the precise coordinates of their last position we now get on our ATO (air-task order) or in-flight through Link 16 via the pre-strike recce information we obtain from our Rafale colleagues that use the Reco-NG pod. This in pure tradi-tional sensor-to-shooter mode, under day or night conditions. And this represents really a big advantage when we need to strike time sensitive ground targets. Axss asxxicoiscencsnsovxo-cncsn uu=cxunss coueisxs iis o= xoe ouiixvincn=x xss o sxxicoiscencsns =on uiiixnv,iniis, susisss o cssnivixio incn=x.wes vou wx xoe esn=onucs o ioc,xnousis =nss ssnvics ii=s, nsiv o xesiousxnv isosn, oAv!cH-cnAHczn.!si: ies) ea-as|r: ies) ve|-a|vzwww.ovxocncsn.cousisscovxocncsn.couAxss asxxicoiscencsnsPhoto courtesy DGAThe Sagem AASM, shown here during an April launch test of the laser-guided variant, is the third version of the baseline SBU-38 AASM.