Ready for anything

Raytheon Australia plays a role in the RAAF's Exercise Diamond Storm

Raytheon Learjet 35A Electronic Warfare Officer David Plant (right) briefs pilot Terry Wakeham during Exercise Diamond Storm 2019. (Photo: Commonwealth of Australia.)

It was all to help the Air Force maintain its fighting edge.

Raytheon Australia took part in the RAAF’s Exercise Diamond Storm in May, providing equipment and personnel to support the “adversary forces” in this test featuring high-end combat scenarios. 

Royal Australian Air Force personnel have since returned from the Northern Territory to their home bases after completing the final stage of the intensive, three-phase Air Warfare Instructor Course. Over six months, Air Force personnel planned and executed offensive counter-air scenarios using almost every aircraft available, including some from the United States Air Force and Marine Corps, and complemented by a range of specialist ground-based electronic warfare technology and Royal Air Force personnel and equipment.

“Raytheon planned, supported and operated the electronic warfare adversary forces during all exercise missions, creating a challenging electromagnetic spectrum threat environment that pushed the candidates to their limits,” said Tom Millhouse, Electronic Warfare lead at Raytheon Australia.

The Raytheon equipment used during the exercise included the Electronic Warfare Training System Learjet 35A, or VH-ESM, and Mobile Radar Threat Simulators, which are part of the new Mobile Threat Training Emitter System.

The VH-ESM aircraft enabled the RAAF to train in a contested, dynamic electromagnetic environment—simulating modern and adaptive threats in an airborne scenario. The training system used modern radar and communications jamming techniques to portray adversary forces, denying and deceiving the Australian Defence Force during training. The company simulated how the modern threat performs and adapts in real life, and provided realistic training scenarios.

It wasn’t just adversary forces in the air that the candidates had to worry about, but also “hostile forces” on the ground. The effects of the threat simulators were coordinated with other air and ground elements, creating a layered defence that had to be met with advanced, integrated planning and execution. The simulators can operate from very remote locations, allowing scenario planners to move threats around, creating tactical uncertainty for the course candidates.

“The threat simulator provided significant value, due to its multi-mode ability and remote site deployment option,” said Mobile Threat Training Emitter System Operations Manager Mark Allan. “Without the ability to range the vehicles across the exercise area, the training would not have been as effective or realistic. The ability of the threat simulator crews to support ground effects has provided some of the only live training those personnel have received directly.”

The Learjets and threat simulators brought in extra layers of complexity, according to RAAF Flying Officer Paul Georgiadis, a No 75 Squadron pilot.

“We want to train hard, so we can fight easy,” he said. “They bring a great capability to the fight and help already good fighter pilots become even better.”

Published On: 06/24/2019
Last Updated: 07/15/2019