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Defense Infrastructure: Further Actions Needed to Support Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator Relocation Plans

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Congressional research rept.

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According to Department of Defense DOD officials, the Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator the Simulator, located at Air Force Plant 4 in Fort Worth, Texas, is an important asset for helping to protect U.S. and allied pilots and aircraft against the missile threats posed by adversaries. Most missiles use one of two electronic warfare technologies in order to pursue aircraft in flight and deliver an explosive warhead with the intent to inflict maximum damage. Small shoulder-launched missiles generally use infrared seekers that search for heat sources on an aircraft, while more sophisticated air-to-air and larger surface-to-air missiles can use radio waves and infrared seekers to determine an aircrafts location in flight. DOD continually develops and tests countermeasures to protect U.S. and allied aircraft from both types of missile threats. The Air Force Electronic Warfare Evaluation Simulator at Plant 4 is one of only two Air Force facilities of its kind that test countermeasures against heat-seeking missiles, and it is the only Air Force facility that currently houses the equipment necessary to test countermeasures against more sophisticated radio frequency surface-to-air missiles. The Simulator uses an array of computer hardware and software and other equipment to simulate the firing of a missile under various conditions and scenarios, precluding the need to actually fire and destroy a missile in the process. Conducting such tests provides DOD, the Department of Homeland Security, and allied governments with the necessary data to develop various countermeasures for use by military and commercial aircraft.

Subject Categories:

  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Countermeasures

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