Some 20 military helicopter pilots and intelligence officers from Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom participated in the first ever helicopter electronic warfare course organised by the European Defence Agency (EDA), from November 20th to December 1st at RAF airbase Linton-on-Ouse (UK).
The course was initiated under the Agency’s Helicopter Exercise Programme (HEP) to boost helicopter crews’ skills and abilities in electronic warfare systems and tactics, a fast evolving domain which so far barely featured in rotary missions typically deployed to ‘low-tech’ battlefields.
Against this backdrop, the first course was largely devoted to introducing the basics of electronic warfare including the impact and functioning of radar, infra-red (IR) and ultra-violet (UV) systems. Specialists from various defence industries were invited to brief the trainees who also spent some time at the UK electronic warfare range at RAF Spadeadam where they had the opportunity to learn about various surface-to-air missile systems and exchange views with experts operating and maintaining them. The course ended with a visit to the airbase’s simulator where a bespoke electronic warfare sortie was carried out, allowing trainees to apply and visualise some of the theoretical topics previously discussed in the classroom.
All in all a successful first course likely to be followed-up by other electronic warfare courses (basic and advanced level) in 2018 and beyond.