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FIA Show News: Defensive Developments

Terma and Leonardo have showcased their ECIPS aircraft self-protection system at this year’s Farnborough Air Show

The result of several bilateral Electronic Warfare (EW) projects involving Terma and Leonardo, John Rygaard, business development director at Terma’s aeronautics business, told MONch that “during various meetings the idea popped up that potentially we could fit a version of the Leonardo Compact Jamming System (CJS) into our ECIPS pylon.” 

Terma’s ECIPS pylon family can be configured according to the desire of the customer with chaff and flare magazines, and missile warning systems (three sensors per pylon). The addition of the CJS provides a “state-of-the-art” jammer. Mr. Rygaard articulates that this confers several advantages compared to an internally-mounted aircraft self-protection system as “you can install the jammer in the pylon rather than in the aircraft fuselage which is a much less complex and expensive solution … you do not lose any weapons stations as with a podded installation (and) you can move the assets from platform to platform so you don’t have to buy jammers for all of your jets.”

Currently, as the ECIPS is configured for Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon series combat aircraft, as this is the only jet which the pylon can equip. Nonetheless, the firm has not ruled out configuring this ECIPS/CJS combination in the future to other platforms. As for the product’s current status, Mr. Rygaard notes that “the concept is ready for detailed design and we believe we can have hardware in the air in approximately twelve months.” With the launch of the product at Farnborough, Mr. Rygaard and his colleagues will now “explore the customer interest in the product and decide the way forward.”

Thomas Withington

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