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Navy, Air Force working together on missile warning.

Responding to an article in last month's JED (see "Heeding the Warning" by Stephen M. Hardy, May 1993, p. 36), Navy and Air Force officials at the Pentagon stressed in a recent interview that the two services are working together to place missile approach warning systems (MAWS) on their tactical aircraft.

Marine Corps LtCol Dennis Lawler revealed that RADM Phillip Anselmo, Navy director of aviation plans and requirements (N880), has established the MAWS Advisory Group to help exercise the missile warning lead granted to the Navy for non-low-observable tactical aircraft. Colonel Lawler serves as chairman of the group.

He said the group has been in close contact with the Air Force as the Navy works the tactical MAWS issue. The discussions between the two services have revealed "we're a lot closer to commonality than we thought we were," he said.

While some might hope such commonality would yield a single system that would be used on each platform type regardless of service, Colonel Lawler and one of his Air Force counterparts, Lt Col Paul Handwerker of ASAF/AQPE, said a universal system for conventional tactical aircraft remained somewhere in the future. Their present efforts will focus on finding "the best system" for the mission requirements of the aircraft under study. Since Air Force and Navy aircraft and their respective missions are not identical, the officers anticipate that more than one system will find their way to the field. These systems will likely be based on existing technology, although potentially in altered forms.

The multiservice approach to MAWS will enable the two services to take advantage of each other's research efforts, they said. For example, the Air Force is farther along the MAWS paper trail and expects to wrap up the MAWS cost and operational effectiveness assessment (COEA) it began last June by this September. While the Navy COEA is just under way, the service may be able to use data from the Air Force COEA to complete its effort more quickly.

The Navy COEA will come none to soon for some aircraft. For example, the Marines uncovered a "most pressing need" for MAWS on the AV-8B in the wake of Desert Storm, according to Colonel Lawler. The Navy currently is looking at modifying a system such as the passive AAR-47 now used on helicopters and transports. The service's goal is to field the capability by 1997.

Meanwhile, the Navy has discussed outfitting the F-14 with a capability similar to that contained in the A-6's Integrated Defensive Avionics Program (IDAP). The IDAP package contains the Lockheed Sanders ALQ-156 active MAWS. The Navy has not established a target fielding date for the F-14 capability, as the IDAP has yet to finish operational test and evaluation. An F-14 decision probably won't come until after the fourth quarter of FY 1994.

As for the F-18, the E/F baseline configuration will contain a MAWS. However, a strategy for current F-18 aircraft remains undefined.

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Title Annotation:EC Monitor
Author:Hardy, Stephen M.
Publication:Journal of Electronic Defense
Date:Jun 1, 1993
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