It is very early dawn and a pilot prepares to launch his F/A-18 Hornet into the darkness off the deck of the USS Carl Vinson. The carrier is at an undisclosed location a few miles off a jungle coastline. The pilot’s mission is to penetrate the airspace in a hostile environment and gain situational awareness through aerial reconnaissance of current conditions around a U.S. embassy in an unstable country due to local guerrilla activities. The region is known to have two surface-to-air defense positions and at least one station has been taken over by these guerrilla fighters.
The aircraft goes through pre-flight checks while it is maneuvered to the launch catapult. When everything has been checked over and over, the pilot is given the signal to launch. The catapult then hurls the fighter jet off the front of the carrier and into the darkness, propelling the aircraft forward from 0 to 150 mph in less than two seconds. How to Launch Off A Carrier at Night
Within minutes, the jet is over the coastline flying deep into the contested region. The pilot flips the control for a reconnaissance camera to record as it passes over the zone expected to have hostile activity.
An alarm sounds inside the headset, and a signal alerts that the aircraft is being detected and tracked by an anti-aircraft radar site. The pilot banks hard as another siren alerts that a missile was launched from a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) platform. As the supersonic missile approaches its target, chaff and flares are blasted from the rear of the aircraft, distracting the heat-seeking projectile away.
What Is The ALE-47
The AN/ALE-47 is the US military’s primary chaff, flares, and Radio Frequency (RF) decoys dispensing system. It uses state-of-the-art processing technology to perform automatic threat-adaptive dispensing of these expendable countermeasures. The ALE-47 is the countermeasures dispensing system on 38 different platforms for many nations around the world.
To protect an aircraft from infrared and radar homing missiles, aircraft like the F-16 are equipped with the AN/ALE-47 countermeasures dispenser system. These countermeasures systems are integrated with radar warning receivers on the aircraft, like the AN/ALR-69. The ALR-69 detects and sources potential radar detection threats in a combat environment.
When a threat is detected, countermeasures of chaff and flares are launched at the optimum time to defeat incoming radio frequency or infrared missiles. More than just a dispenser unit, the pilot can interface with the ALE-47 through a control unit and a programmer. The system can also be integrated into the electronic (digital) flight instrument displays.
13 Facts About the ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System (CMDS)
- Protection from air-to-air and surface-to-air heat-seeking missiles
- Fixed-wing aircraft – up to 32 dispensers
- Rotary-wing aircraft – up to 16 dispensers
- Each dispenser can hold five different types of countermeasures
- Integrated with the aircraft’s radar warning receivers, missile warning receivers, and other electronic warfare sensors
- Automatically launches countermeasures at the optimum time to defeat incoming missiles
- Compatible with a wide variety of countermeasures such as different types of flares and chaff – loaded with 3 types of expendables: XM211, XM212, and M206
- Designed to work with advanced future countermeasures.
- Replacement to the AN/ALE-39 and AN/ALE-40 Dispensing Systems
- Mode of operation: manual, semi-automatic, and automatic
- Automatically dispense expendables when the AN/ALQ-156 detects a threat when in the Auto or Semi-Auto mode of operation
- Uses U.S. and NATO standard and new radio frequency and infrared decoys
- Integrated on 38 different types of aircraft, including the F-16, F/A-18, C-17, CH-47 and UH-60
The countermeasures dispensed from the F-18 foiled the missile’s mission and saved the pilot’s life. This enables the F-18 to evade catastrophe and return to strike the SAM site, eliminating the threat.
The ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System [CMDS] is a crucial system for the pilot and aircraft survivability in a combat environment. Ensuring that it’s operating at peak performance can mean the difference between life and death in a combat environment.
Extensive Test and Repair Capabilities for ALE-47 and ALR-69
Duotech has extensive test and repair capabilities for the systems and subsystems of both the AN/ALE-47 and AN/ALR-69. Even with tight funding and rising repair costs from the OEM, systems like the Countermeasures Dispenser System and Radar Warning Receiver must be maintained to ensure mission-critical components are ready to keep those fighters in the air.
AS9100 certified Duotech supports existing legacy and obsolete systems in aircraft like the F-15, F-16, F-5, C-130, A-10, E-3, and rotary wing aircraft like the UH-1, CH-47, and UH-60, enabling operators to avoid scraping repairable equipment while delivering under budget and meeting critical deadlines.
Duotech provides repair services of electronic components for a variety of fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft systems. Duotech maintains an AS9100C registration and is a qualified repair station for thousands of items. You can begin your Part Number Search or request a repair quote from Duotech today.