Paris Air Show

Elettronica Extends Self-protection Suite Capability

 - June 19, 2013, 10:00 AM
Elettronica president and CEO Enzo Benigni has sought to increase research and development spending in a bid to keep the Italian firm ahead in the EW sector.

Italian avionics group Elettronica is demonstrating the Virgilius integrated electronic warfare (EW) architecture system at its Paris Air Show exhibit (Hall 1 E294), as well as the ELT/572 directional infrared countermeasures (DIRCM) system for protecting against man-portable air defense (Manpad) weapons. It has also unveiled its latest self-protection suite for combat search-and-rescue helicopters.

The company is highlighting the combination of receiving and transmitting modules in one antenna, which Elettronica president Enzo Benigni explained has meant faster receive/transmit multiplexing to allow both traditional and new electronic countermeasures to be implemented for various EW purposes.

According to the Rome-based group, its EW solutions include the Dass Pod self-protection system for the Eurofighter Typhoon and the ELT/568 ALQ-703 escort support jammer. Other airborne platforms protected by Elettronica include Dassault’s Mirage 2000 fighter, the NH90 helicopter and Lockheed Martin’s C27J transport.

Virgilius is a multi-platform system for protecting fixed-wing and rotorcraft, offering advanced signal processing capability. Meanwhile the ELT/572 DIRCM package uses fiber laser technology to enhance the effectiveness of the infrared countermeasures, as well as improving reliability and efficiency. According to Elettronica, the system also overcomes the traditional weakness of previous DIRCM suites by reducing installation constraints and maintenance issues. It also allows for the use of a small, dynamic turret that can move quickly and accurately concentrate the laser beam on the seekers of incoming missile threats using sophisticated algorithms.

The latest ALQ-703 is a pod-based version of the ELT/568 family of jammers. The jammer offers fast emitter interception, real-time identification and dedicated electronic countermeasures and electronic attack features. The small, lightweight pod is designed to be fitted near the center of the aircraft to provide 360-degree coverage. It is self-cooled, self-powered and fully automated and can also interact with the rest of the platform’s self-protection suite.

Among the new platform opportunities Elettronica intends to pursue for its EW systems is the new Piaggio P.1HH HammerHead UAV launched here at the Paris Air Show. Despite some short-term impact from military budget cuts, Benigni said that opportunities in the area of self-protection are “looking up” for companies like his that have a technological edge.

Elettronica is also now moving into the fields of cyber warfare protection systems with solutions for cyber immunity and EW attack.