The American F-15E Eagle fleet is currently undergoing critical electronic warfare testing at the Benefield Anechoic Facility at Edwards Air Force Base, California.
The F-15E pictured above is outfitted with the Eagle Passive/Active Warning and Survivability System (EPAWSS).
The EPAWSS is an integrated digital avionics system designed to protect the F-15E Eagle against enemy air defence systems, said Jon Danner, F-15 Division Test Manager at Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.
“The Air Force is modernizing its F-15 fleet with the EPAWSS, which is capable of detecting, identifying, denying, degrading, disrupting, and defeating modern and emerging threat systems in contested environments,” Danner said.
“The testing is a collaborative effort among the F-15 System Program Office (SPO) at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, the 96th Test Wing’s 46th Test Squadron at Eglin AFB in Florida, the 412th Test Wing’s 412th Electronic Warfare Group’s 772nd Test Squadron at Edwards and contractors, Boeing and BAE Systems.”
In a U.S. Air Force news release, Danner explained that the current electronic warfare self-protection suite on the F-15E Eagle uses 1970’s analog technology designed for combat operations in environments defended by 1980s-era radar-based ground and air threats.
“Today’s emerging threat environment is much more diverse, complex and adaptive. Additionally, the aging technology is becoming more difficult and expensive to support, Danner added.”
The EPAWSS takes advantages of today’s computing, receiver and transmitter technologies to provide a quicker, smarter response to the threats and better actionable information to the pilot, said Ed Sabat, Project Development Lead and Civilian Director of Operations, 772nd Test Squadron.
“Additionally, tests must establish and provide verification of the interoperability and RF (radio frequency) compatibility among the EPAWSS, the AN/APG-82 radar and various existing avionics at the installed system level on the aircraft, as it would fly versus in a system lab,” Sabat said.
The EPAWSS is designed to provide indication, type and position of ground-based RF threats as well as bearing of airborne threats with the situational awareness needed to avoid, engage or negate the threat, say the U.S. Air Force.
“The EPAWSS defends against RF and IR threat systems detecting or acquiring accurate targeting information prior to threat engagement thus complicating and/or negating an enemy threat targeting solution. The system counters threats through its suite of components with electro optical and RF techniques.”