GA-ASI demon­strates elec­tronic at­tack in USMC ex­er­cise


Gen­eral Atomics Aero­nau­ti­cal Sys­tems Inc. (GA-ASI) an­nounced its suc­cess­ful demon­stra­tion of Preda­tor B’s elec­tronic at­tack ca­pa­bil­ity at the US Marine Corp’s (USMC’s) Weapons and Tac­tics In­struc­tor (WTI) course held at Marine Corp Air Sta­tion (MCAS) Yuma in Arizona.

“With this highly ef­fec­tive dis­play of Preda­tor B as a vi­able and ca­pa­ble EW plat­form, we are poised to pro­vide even greater value as a mul­ti­mis­sion RPA so­lu­tion for the Marines to ad­dress their EW re­quire­ments,” said Frank W. Pace, Pres­i­dent, Air­craft Sys­tems Group, GA-ASI.

The pur­pose of the demon­stra­tion was to eval­u­ate the vi­a­bil­ity of a RPA to con­duct elec­tronic war­fare mis­sions against en­emy air de­fences in sup­port of tac­ti­cal strike air­craft. GA-ASI par­tic­i­pated with a com­pany-owned Preda­tor B RPA equipped with a jam­ming pod con­tain­ing a Northrop Grum­man dig­i­tal re­ceiver/ex­citer and con­trolled by a GA-ASI ground con­trol sta­tion (GCS). Preda­tor B was fully in­te­grated into the ad­vanced com­mand and con­trol (C2) net­works and elec­tronic war­fare (EW) ar­chi­tec­ture of the ex­er­cise, with over 20 air­craft par­tic­i­pat­ing. The Northrop Grum­man pay­load proved to be ef­fec­tive and seam­lessly in­te­grated with the Preda­tor B avion­ics, com­mand and con­trol ar­chi­tec­ture.

Fu­ture demon­stra­tions will ex­pand on the suc­cess and lessons learned from the use of Preda­tor B to ex­e­cute a multi-node ap­proach against a more ca­pa­ble in­te­grated air de­fence sys­tem (IADS) in con­cert with other un­manned air­craft sys­tems and EA-6B Prowlers in fu­ture train­ing ex­er­cises. The fo­cus of fu­ture demon­stra­tions will be on a more in­te­grated and net­worked EW ca­pa­bil­ity, ex­pand­ing the C2 net­work to di­rect the air­craft’s EW pay­load and other as­sets from the Cyber/Elec­tronic War­fare Co­or­di­na­tion Cell (C/EWCC) lo­cated at MCAS Yuma. “We are us­ing mul­ti­ple plat­forms in a net­worked ap­proach to pros­e­cute the IADS to pro­tect our strik­ers as they hit their tar­gets,” stated Ma­jor Charles Dudik, HQMC Avi­a­tion EW Re­quire­ments Of­fi­cer. “It is a non-tra­di­tional ap­proach to this prob­lem set, but we be­lieve this is where the fu­ture is headed for EW.”

A tech­no­log­i­cally ad­vanced de­riv­a­tive of the com­bat-proven Preda­tor, the multi-mis­sion Preda­tor B pro­vides es­sen­tial sit­u­a­tional aware­ness for warfight­ers, ex­celling in com­bat mis­sions fo­cus­ing on in­tel­li­gence, sur­veil­lance, and re­con­nais­sance (ISR), pre­ci­sion strike on time-sen­si­tive tar­gets, close-air sup­port (CAS), signals in­tel­li­gence (SIGINT), for­ward air con­trol (FAC), im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice (IED) de­tec­tion, bomb dam­age as­sess­ment (BDA), and now air­borne elec­tronic at­tack.

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