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AGARD Flight Test Techniques Series. Volume 16. Introduction to Airborne Early Warning Radar Flight Test. (Introduction aux essais en vol des Radars Aeroportes d'Alerte Lointaine)

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During periods when military budgets and aircraft fleet sizes are shrinking, systems that serve to cost effectively increase the utility of the remaining weapons can still undergo procurement growth. The increased situational awareness and battle field management provided by Airborne Early Warning AEW radar is one such force multiplier. The primary role of an AEW aircraft is the long-range detection of airborne targets. As potent new airborne threats, such as low flying cruise missiles, reduce the timelines that traditional air defense systems have to react, the utility of an AEW systems long-range surveillance capabilities to recover the lost time is clear. Fundamentally, these new targets stress the principal performance capabilities of an AEW radar sensor leveling new requirements on these systems to deal with this advanced threat. These increased requirements have led to world-wide, substantive work in the development of radar upgrades to existing AEW aircraft, such as the U.S. Navys E-2C Hawkeye and the U.S. Air Forces E-3A AWACS, as well as new systems and platforms, such as the Swedish Air Forces ERIEYE. The required increases in sensitivity, resolution, and the associated data rates that stem from these performance improvements will have profound impact on the way these systems are operated and how they perform in various environments. As these increasingly capable systems evolve, AEW radar will be expected to take on additional missions and perform other surveillance functions in the pursuit of dominant battle field awareness. Unfortunately, little or nothing has been written to document the largely unique techniques needed to perform the system level flight testing of these new AEW radars. The procedures have largely been passed from one individual to the next without the benefit of substantive documentation.

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  • Antimissile Defense Systems
  • Active and Passive Radar Detection and Equipment

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