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Behind the scenes systems help in desert.

While several high-tech systems grabbed the spotlight during coverage of operations in the Persian Gulf, other devices performed effectively behind the scenes, according to military and industry sources.

For example, six recoverable Pioneer-type unmanned aerial vehicle systems, each containing eight vehicles, were used in the gulf conflict. Two systems were on battleships, three were used by the Marines and one by the Army. The UAVs provided real-time targeting information to guide artillery from the allied forces. Sources implied this real-time use may force a change in the US Joint UAV program to include using UAVs with guided-weapon systems. Another change may be the need for a tilt-wing, hoverable UAV that will easily return to ships once a mission is complete. Presently, they are caught in a net upon returning to a ship.

Also used in Desert Storm were computer-generated, electronic combat simulation programs the Tactical Sensor Planner, the Improved Many-On-Many (IMOM) and the Sentinel Byte (a more sophisticated version of IMOM), developed by the Air Force EW Center (AFEWC). The programs graphically display the order of battle as affected by terrain, jamming and weapons systems envelopes (see "ESC Weathers Desert Storm" on p. 57 of this issue). Using the programs, commanders effectively planned sorties knowing where pilots could fly while protected from detection. AFEWC officials indicated the US provided data from these systems to the UK and Saudi forces.

Secure communication for government and military officials throughout the world during the war was provided in part by Ilex Systems, Inc. The company supplied secure and Tempest facsimilies. "We provided our 750 and 750T models to US and Canadian forces," said Marketing Director George Kinzel at Ilex's Communications Products Div. According to Kinzel, the military was pleased with the products' effectiveness. Although JED couldn't confirm his comment with the military by press time, the fact it placed a second order for more Ilex facsimilies indicates the products were working as anticipated.

Besides providing intelligence data on Iraq and allied EW capabilities to Desert Storm commanders, the Joint Electronic Warfare Center (JEWC), San Antonio, TX (see again "ESC Weathers Desert Storm," p.57), sent a laser warning device into the theater. Produced by Tracor, the Short Light Pulse Alerting Receiver (SLIPAR) is a self-contained, palm-sized laser warning receiver that provides audio and visual alerts in the presence of a laser pulse. The receiver is designed to mount easily on the canopy of an airplane elsewhere on a platform, or to be carried by ground personnel. It provides hemispheric coverage for detection of range finders and designators that might be part of a laser-guided weapon.

The 7th Corps ordered 150 of them to put into their Apaches because of the threat the Iraqis presented in lasers. Whether SLIPAR roved useful in the war is as yet unknown. -D.T.G.

EF-111 Kills First Iraqi Aircraft

Published wire service reports said that credit for the first kill of an Iraqi aircraft may go to an EF-111 Raven jamming aircraft during the opening minutes of Desert Storm.

As recounted by the Raven's EWO, Capt Brent Brandon of Houston, TX, an Iraqi Mirage F-1 fighter rolled in a mile behind the EF-111 and fired a missile as the Raven was conducting its medium altitude stand-off jamming mission near an airfield in western Iraq. To evade the missile, the American jet immediately dove to within a few hundred feet of the ground and released chaff and flares. The pilot, Capt Jim Denton, made a hard right banking turn. The Iraqi fighter couldn't match the maneuver and hit the ground.

"We got so low, he couldn't hack it and smeared into the ground behind us," Brandon was quoted a saying. The Raven crew saw the fireball created by the Mirage on the ground behind them.

The EF-111 was in the first wave of allied warplanes that attacked targets during the early morning hours of January 17, 1991. It began jamming Iraqi radar twelve minutes before the 3 AM H-hour which marked the start of the war.

If the Air Force investigation into the incident upholds the claim, it would be an unprecedented mark of distinction for the Raven, which carries no air-to-air missiles. -H.G.
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Title Annotation:1991 Persian Gulf War
Publication:Journal of Electronic Defense
Date:Apr 1, 1991
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