British Airborne Electronic Warfare Systems - Technical data and discussion

This is a WIP thread and is using place holder text for the most part, I will keep updating it. Keeping it limited to frontline aircraft, I’m aware the trainer versions of alot of these aircraft also carried the systems and in some cases the development aircraft too.

Here we can discuss the various British ECM systems.


Sky Shadow ARI 23246/3
The Sky Shadow ECM pod is a software-programmable auto-responsive noise and continuous wave (CW) repeater jammer operating in two overlapping frequency bands. The low band operates in the frequency range of 5.0 - 9.4 GHz and the high band covers 9.15 -16.4 GHz. The pod is able to jam simultaneously up to two pulse radar threats in each band concurrently. It can also produce repeater jamming of CW radars. For practical purposes Sky Shadow’s antenna polar diagram comprises solid cones of 60° semi-angle directed fore and aft and centred on the pod axis. The software is designed to ensure that radars associated with the greatest threat are countered first and that threats ahead of the aircraft have a higher priority than those behind.

Carried by;

  • Tornado GR.1
  • Tornado GR.1A
  • Tornado GR.1B
  • Tornado GR.4
  • Tornado GR.4A
  • Harrier GR.3 (crammed into a ADEN gun pod known as Blue Eric) ARI-23353/1
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Blue Eric;
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AN/ALQ-101-10 (aka the Dash 10) ARI 23234/3
The frequency coverage of the pod is 2.6 to 16.5 GHz. This range is divided into 3 bands; 2.6 to 5.5 GHz, 4.85 to 9.7 GHz, and 8.9 to 16.5 GHz known as low, mid and high bands respectively. In the Jaguar fit, low band has been deleted, however it maybe replaced by another band at a later date. Each band has a travelling wave tube(TWT)amplifier, the power output is 200 watts per band. The overlap between 8.9 and 9.7 GHz is designed to cover the frequencies containing multiple threats and allow more power to be concentrated on these. Frequency coverage is not continuous across the whole range, as each band is divided into a number of sub-bands. Each sub band covers the expected frequency range of a particular threat and contains the noise or repeater modulation designed to counter a specific Soviet threat radar.

Carried by;

  • Jaguar GR.1
  • Jaguar GR.1A
  • Jaguar GR.1B
  • Jaguar GR.3
  • Jaguar GR.3A
  • Buccaneer S.2B
  • Vulcan B.2
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AN/ALQ-101-8 (Westinghouse ECM pod) ARI 23234
The Westinghouse 4111 101-8 RCM pod, which is a completely enclosed ECM system to be carried On the No 3 Weapons Station Pylon, will be fitted to the Buccaneer S.2B, for both overland and maritime use. The pod operates in 3 radio frequency (RF) bands: 2.6-5.2 GHz, 4.8-9.6 GHz and 8.9-16.5 GHz, with separate noise and deception techniques available in each band. There are two overlap areas, 4.8-5.2 GHz and 8.9-9.6 GHz, designed to cover the frequencies containing multiple threats and to allow additional power to be concentrated on these threats. Each band is divided into a number of sub-hands and the particular noise or deception technique used in a sub-band is called a programme - each programme being designed to counter a specific Soviet threat radar. The Control Unit (C-6631), to be fitted on the port side of the navigators cockpit just beneath the hood rail, was designed to provide switch selection for the simultaneous operation of two nods with different functions and the annotation. of the master switch positions Standby (SBY), Transmit 1 (Tx1), Transmit 2 (Tx2) and BOTH, and of the lamps, is not fully compatible with the operation of the single 101-8 ECM pod. To overcome this problem, and to provide increased flexibility. in the selection of pod programmes, a new Control Unit (C-9492) will be fitted from 1976 onwards. The method of operation of the ECM pod and the programmes presently available are given
Carried by;

  • Buccaneer S.2B

AN/ALQ-167 (Yellow Veil)
There are many AN/ALQ-167 variants, each using different combinations of the ULQ-21 countermeasures modules, Using a frequency range of 425 MHz to 18 GHz, it generates Noise, Deception/Repeater, or a Combination of the ECM jamming modes The Noise mode attempts to mask the illumination radar return signal with a larger RF power signal. In the Deception /Repeater mode, it attempts to provide false information (range, angle, velocity) to break the weapon system track by applying various types of modulation to the illumination signal. The ALQ-167 produces Combination modes by logically combining various noise and deception modes. The pod mounts externally on aircraft. Cable assemblies to each aircraft type permit interface between pod assembly and the control indicator via aircraft wiring.
Carried by;

  • Lynx Mk.1
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Towed Radar Decoy (aka the TRD)
The TRD system is housed in a modified BOZ-107 pod mounted on the port out-board pylon. The pod contains a RF receiver processor system that identifies and prioritises the threat. A Techniques Generator provides the appropriate jamming signal which is then transmitted by fibre-optic link to an active decoy which, when selected, is ejected from the pod and is towed approximately 100 meters behind the aircraft. Once it has been streamed, the decoy cannot be rewound into the pod; for recovery, the decoy is jettisoned and it drops to earth beneath a drogue parachute. Frequency coverage is NATO H-J bands (6-18Ghz)
Carried by;

  • Tornado F.3
  • Nimrod MR.2
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Zeus ECM ARI 23333/1
The TG holds the available jammer techniques; it generates RF signals related to a particular RWR input in response to an initiation message from the EWP. The TG can monitor threats being jammed and can inform the EWP of the apparent loss of a threat being jammed. It will, however, only stop jamming when instructed by the EWP. Either of the following techniques may be called up by the EWP in response to a threat. Noise jamming by synthesis of the received radar signal frequency, combined, if necessary, with angle deception modulation. Repetition jamming of the threat signal with velocity and/or angle deception modulation. Noise Jamming. Noise jamming by synthesis techniques is the normal response for pulse type threats the reference frequency being taken from the receiver local oscillator. RF oscillators in the TG are set to the frequency of the threat and either or both of the Following modulations are then applied. Variable bandwidth amplitude modulated noise for range deception. Low frequency amplitude modulation (fixed or random depth) for angle and modulation type denial; the duty cycle, modulation depth and frequency is scheduled in the PFM. Skirt jamming can also be employed in which case the RF is offset. Repetition Jamming. Repetition techniques are only selected for CW threats using a portion of the receiver RF input as the jamming signal source. The required frequencies are then amplified with one or more of the following modulations applied (commutation between up to three separate repetition responses is possible). Velocity gate pull-off, with programmed rate and range pull-off. Low frequency amplitude modulation for angle denial. The duty cycle, modulation depth and modulation frequency are scheduled in the selected program. Variable bandwidth, pseudo random frequency modulated noise. Multiple frequency offset.

Carried by;

  • Harrier GR.5
  • Harrier GR.7
  • Harrier GR.7A
  • Harrier GR.9
  • Harrier GR.9A
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Praetorian DASS
The Praetorian Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS) currently installed on the Eurofighter Typhoon, provides protection against air-to-air and surface-to-air threats, by monitoring and proactively responding to the operational environment. It contains Electronic Support Measures, missile warning, on-board electronic countermeasures and towed radar decoys to detect, evaluate and counter threats at maximum range.

  • 360 Degree RWR coverage between 0.1-40Ghz (A-K NATO bands)
  • Inbuilt LWR’s, covering the nose and tail
  • Inbuilt ECM
  • 360 Degree MAW coverage between 32-38Ghz. Automatic countermeasure release is supported
  • Inbuilt Towed Radar Decoys(2), Leonardo’s Ariel Mk II TRD with a 100m cable able to sustain mach 2+ speeds and +9/-3G overloads, effective between H-J bands
  • Inbuilt Countermeasures, 2 x BOL-510(160 Chaff/IR decoys each) + 2 x 55mm Elettronica Aster Flare Dispensers (16 large calibre flares each)

Carried by;

  • Typhoon IPA.1
  • Typhoon F.2
  • Typhoon FGR.4
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Sources Used

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AP101B-0607-15B Harrier GR.7 Aircrew Manual - Book 2 - Avionics and Weapons
AP101B-0605-15B Harrier GR.5 Aircrew Manual - Navigation And Attack
AWC Tornado GR1 Tactics Manual
AP-101B-4103-15B Tornado F Mk 3 Aircrew Manual Book 2 Weapons Systems
AP101B-1202-15C Buccaneer S.2B Aircrew Manual - Weapon System
CTTO Jaguar Tactics Manual 3rd Edition
DEFE 58-538 Tornado F.3 TRD

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Done my first pass at this thread, I’ll come to updating the Praetorian DASS for Typhoon later, as I’ve just done the pods/systems I had primary source materials for.

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I think Nimrod MR.2 might have also carried the TRD pod.

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AN/ALQ-101-10 carried by Vulcan for Op. Black Buck 1 and 2

There was also an effort called “Blue Eric” ( ARI-23353/1) during the Falklands War to fit Sky Shadow equipment in one side of the Harrier GR.3 gun pod. There’s very little info on how capable it was compared to the full Sky Shadow pod other than that it was designed to counter expected threats such as Oerlikon-Contraves Skyguard and Super-Fledermaus system

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The amount of wacky stuff that came out of the Falklands conflict still surprises me.

Also shockingly quick timescales to get stuff done. They had the first prototype of that gun pod jammer working in 7 days.

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Hollow out the pod, drop in the Sky Shadow guts, bit of gaffa, power it with an extension lead and a kettle plug. Jobs a good’un.

This implies similar to the AN/ALQ-101-10:

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@Gunjob Buccaneer S.2B can also carry the AN/ALQ-101-8 pod:

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Ooo got my ARI’s confused then because thats what I had for the Dash 10. Cheers I’ll add in another section.

Another EW pod used during the war though this time by rotary-wing aviation, was the AN/ALQ-167. Dubbed “Yellow Veil” in British service

In 1982 it would have equipped either Lynx HAS.2 or HAS.3, however most images of it being carried by Lynx are from later conflicts such as the 1991 Gulf War where we see it carried by Lynx HAS.3GM
Ed:- contrary to the info on the museum board, Yellow Veil probably wasn’t introduced until 1986, so equipped Lynx HAS.3 and the later HAS.3GM

The pod’s payload could be configured to a range of different RF bands to spoof a variety of anti-ship and anti-air threats. It was carried by fixed-wing aircraft in US service including A-6, F-14 and F-18, but UK use seems to have been limited to helicopters.

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Very nice, added a section I’ll fluff it out more later.

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They might share the same ARI number as they are both ALQ-101 versions

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Don’t suppose anybody knows whether this doc is a scan of an official AP/AESP, do they?

Lists ARI 23234 (AN/ALQ-101) as being available for Phantom AWG11 (i.e. Phantom FG.1) in addition to Buccaneer SB.2 and Jaguar

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That’s odd. As far as I know the only active ECM ever carried by British Phantoms was the PEWT (Phantom Electronic Warfare Training) pod. And as the name suggests that was only a very basic ECM pod used for aircrew training. This is the only photo I can find of one (it’s apprantly that cylinder under the left wing):

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Added the text for AN/ALQ-101-8 and AN/ALQ-167. Apologies for any typos I OCR’d the images you both sent to save myself from retyping it all out.

My one came from the Buccaneer Strike Study, so you should have access to that. Not sure if the OCR is any better though.

Got some reports in on British RWR capability:
https://community.gaijin.net/issues/p/warthunder/i/Vh5MgLFiOmts
https://community.gaijin.net/issues/p/warthunder/i/o28aoClqe6ac
https://community.gaijin.net/issues/p/warthunder/i/MnOPY3b7YVQe

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I mean, they never like to talk about it but the ELINT Nimrod based at San Felix Island and the crash AEW build programme that resulted are teo of my favourite examples.