EHUD, THRUST Mature Into Multi-Level Training Systems

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ACMI display showing a dogfight from multiple participants' points of view.
ACMI display showing a dogfight from multiple participants’ points of view.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has expanded its ‘Ehud’ Autonomous Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (AACMI) family to support Eastern fighter aircraft in addition to its Western fighter aircraft related advanced capabilities. At Aero-India 2013 the company is unveiling the EHUD pod configured in an R73 air-to-air missile enclosure, making the pod the only AACMI pod in the market, which can fit any R73 compatible aircraft.

IAI_AERO-125X125Until now EHUD was designed to conform to aircraft carrying the AIM-9L air-to-air missile or Hellfire ant-tank missile (mostly for helicopters). The system is also fitted into platforms such as aircraft, surface vessels and air-defense assets using a verity of onboard LRU boxes and racks. The new pod would be suitable for air forces flying mixed fleets of fighter aircraft – such as the Indian Air Force, as well as the air forces of the former Commonwealth of States (former Soviet republics), where Israel maintains extensive and productive military and economical cooperation. It will also help Eastern European air forces still flying MiG-29, MiG-21 or Su-22 (such as the Polish and Romanian air forces) to participate in NATO air combat training.

As a realistic, real-time air combat training system, EHUD offers post-mission debriefing as well as a life saving safety system. Through real-time monitoring of the flight paths and manoeuvres of all real participants, the system provides air collision and obstacle avoidance while collecting all data for debriefing, to allow reconstruction of all flight data along with synchronized audio and video from the views of all the participants involved. The system allows conducting high level, live training with the ability to fire simulated armaments and receive real time hit or miss assessments as well as high level post exercise debriefing. The fighters can train jointly with ships, helicopters and air defense platforms, since IAI provides dedicated embedded training systems for each of these platforms.

THRUST pods are extending the support for ACMI to non-fighter platfroms, including combat helicopters
THRUST pods are extending the support for ACMI to non-fighter platfroms, including combat helicopters

Through its evolution EHUD has become the standard ACMI for NATO and many international air forces. The new segment of the system, known as Helicopter Rehearsal Autonomous Safety & Training System (‘THRUST’) participated recently in a large-scale exercise of joint forces in an unnamed Asian, where the systems equipped systems on board hundreds of participants – live forces including helicopters, air defense platforms, tanks, and land vehicles. Virtual armaments were used rather than live ammunition. During the exercise the forces used IAI’s THRUST system to conduct in-depth debriefing of the battle’s results.

The attack helicopters and air defense units were equipped with IAI’s THRUST and Air Defense Instrumented Training System (ADITS) – both part of IAI’s Ehud family of embedded training systems. Connectivity to the land vehicles was achieved via an integral gateway.

THRUST system offers low-cost and high-value embedded pilot training with maximized safety features. The system is designed to achieve advanced joint forces training capabilities by utilizing network interoperability with IAI’s Ehud system, Laser-based Tactical Engagement Simulation System (TESS) as well as connectivity to Combat Training Centers (CTC\CTSS).

The airborne system is available in two configurations, both are now off-the-shelf products: THRUST airborne pod designed for attack helicopters – specifically for Apache AH-64 (Hellfire enclosure), and the Internal case fits utility or other attack helicopters.