Talisman Sabre Puts Electronic Warfare Systems to a Test

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US Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division teams fielded two experiments as Trident Warrior 2015 initiatives during the Talisman Sabre 2015 multinational exercise conducted in the Pacific this summer.

The first experiment, utilizing a Link 16-enabled EWBM, was conducted by a NAWCWD team comprised of data analysts Steve Fisher and Bob Markham and senior EW systems analyst Les Fierst. Fisher and Markham embarked with Commander Task Force (CTF) 70 and Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 5 aboard USS Antietam (CG 54) and USS George Washington (CVN 73) respectively from June 23 – July 7 as analysts and data collection subject matter experts (SMEs).

The experiment objectives included gathering data on Link 16 EW tracks received by ships from carrier-based aircraft, recording ship combat systems processing of the received tracks and identifying how they are currently being used by the shipboard EW watchstanders.

The team made a number of key observations that will significantly improve Electronic Warfare interoperability between air and surface assets and allow shipboard combat systems to integrate aircraft EW data and increase EWBM capability with Link 16.

The EWBM team began testing evolutions in early July, conducting dry runs and fully integrated tests that included AV-8B Harriers in flight. This was the first successful control of an airborne EW pod on an AV-8B controlled via IP data link aboard a ship by Navy personnel.

The team was able to successfully integrate Navy and Marine Corps EW systems as well as demonstrate how systems control protocols would operate.

The Trident Warrior program provides a venue to test out new ideas and innovations in a real-world environment. NAWCWD submitted two Electronic Warfare Battle Management (EWBM) experiment proposals to the Naval Warfare Development Command (NWDC) Fleet Experimentation department in 2014. Both were approved for use during Exercise Talisman Sabre 2015, a biennial training activity aimed at improving Australian and U.S. combat readiness and interoperability. The fleet exercise includes international participants from the U.S., Australia, New Zealand and Japan and encompasses dozens of ships, hundreds of platforms and thousands of military personnel.

Image: US Navy

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