Chilean Air Force Tests an Upgraded EW System for the F-16

An F-16D from Chilean Air Force Group 3 (FACh). Photo: Cruzex V, Natal

ITT Exelis completed a successful demonstration of the new block upgrade of its Advanced Defensive Electronic Warfare System (AIDEWS), under a cooperative effort between the Chilean Air Force, U.S. Air Force, and Exelis. This flight effort culminates a year of planning and coordination by FACh and U.S. personnel, as well as extensive laboratory and flight-testing in the U.S. At the conclusion of flight operations, FACh officials expressed confidence in AIDEWS as a “critical operational asset.” The updated Block 5.2 configuration supports the upcoming delivery of combat capable electronic warfare mission data to five countries with AIDEWS equipped F-16s. Among the air forces using the AIDEWS with their F-16s are Turkish, Pakistani, Omani and Chilean air forces.

The currently operational version of the AIDEWS is the V4 shown in this photo. This layout includes the RWR units without antennae, which are already installed on the aircraft. A more compact configuration comprise antennae integrated RWRs. Photo: ITT Exelis.

The tests that demonstrated the latest enhancements in the system’s air-to-air electronic warfare capability involved a series of missions flown by multi-ship F-16 formations. Pilots of Fuerza Area de Chile (FACh) Squadron No 3 at Los Condores Air Base, Chile, flew six missions on F-16 Block 50 aircraft from July 4 to 18, 2012. Those missions effectively demonstrated the performance of AIDEWS Block 5.2 against multiple airborne fire control radars with overlapping operating frequencies.

AIDEWS is built upon the proven AN/ALQ-211 family of electronic warfare systems now in use to support a broad range of U.S. and allied defense customers on many aircraft. These include versions of the CV-22, MH-47, MH-60, F-16, Boeing 737s, NH-90, and several other platforms. The system is currently in full production with more than 160 systems under contract for six nations as part of the F-16 Foreign Military Sales program.

An F-16D from Chilean Air Force Group 3 (FACh). Photo: Cruzex V, Natal