10 November 2009

Boeing Completes Key Tests of Self-Protection System Aboard Australian Wedgetail AEW&C Aircraft

10 November 2009

RAAF's Wedgetail (photo : Boeing)

SEATTLE -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] announced today that it has successfully completed tests of the Counter Measures Dispenser System (CMDS) for Project Wedgetail, Australia's Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) system. The tests were conducted in September and October off the Washington coast and over Puget Sound, Wash.

Completion of CMDS testing is a key step toward verification of the Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft's overall Electronic Warfare Self-Protection (EWSP) capability. EWSP is designed to warn aircrews about and protect against missiles targeting the aircraft. The CMDS responds to threats by releasing chaff and flares to decoy incoming missiles away from the aircraft. Boeing and its industry supplier, BAE Systems, developed and integrated the CMDS system.

Testing included 19 flights that dispensed more than 500 units of chaff and flares. The AEW&C team collected data via five high-speed video cameras mounted on the Wedgetail aircraft and an additional video camera attached to a T-33 chase plane.

"The testing program verified that the Boeing-installed self-protection system will effectively counter its intended threats reliably and safely," said Kermit Hollinger, Electronic Warfare manager for Boeing AEW&C Programs. "This milestone is the latest example of Boeing's ability to integrate military systems onto commercial aircraft and provide our customers with low-risk, cost-effective solutions to their operational requirements."

Project Wedgetail includes six 737 AEW&C aircraft plus ground support segments for mission crew training, mission support and system maintenance.
The 737 AEW&C aircraft, based on the Boeing Next-Generation 737-700 commercial airplane, is designed to provide airborne battle-management capability with an advanced multirole electronically scanned radar and 10 state-of-the-art mission crew consoles. Able to track airborne and maritime targets simultaneously, the mission crew can direct offensive and defensive forces while maintaining continuous surveillance of the operational area.

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