[IWAR] USAF new helo depends heavily on computers

From: Anonymous (nobodyat_private)
Date: Sat May 23 1998 - 13:15:12 PDT

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    What happened to the stick and levers I used to use?
    This bird goes down on EMP, jamming, or that microwave
    beam gun someone mentioned... or a laser on the resonant
    quantum frequency of silver or copper. "When I was your
    age, we looked out the goddamn window, and we liked it!"
    --THE LIE
    new AF helo (e) (also from www.landings.com)
    "I can now see threats right in front of me," says Lt. Col.
    Scott Schafer, an MH-53J pilot, "from towers and power lines
    to a surface-to-air-missile."
    Schafer, chief of the aircraft acquisitions branch at the
    Air Force's Special Operations Branch (AFSOC), was praising
    the merits of the new electronic upgrades on the helo the
    Air Force calls "Pave Low III" (names supposedly picked by
    computer to confuse everyone).
    The Air Force received the first production-modified MH-53J
    Pave Low III helo from Lockheed Martin at a ceremony in
    Hurlburt Field in Crestview, Fla. April 17.
    The modification is called the (get ready) Interactive
    Defensive Avionics System/Multi-Mission Advanced Tactical
    Terminal, or IDAS/MATT, and it's supposed to provide
    aircrews with a new level of information from navigation to
    A color, multifunctional, night-vision compatible digital
    map screen is the most visible hardware in the system.
    Located on the helicopter's instrument panel, the display
    gives an MH-53 crew a clearer picture of the battlefield.
    Crews have instant access to real time events, including the
    aircrew's flight route, man-made hazards such as power lines
    and even enemy threats that are "over-the-horizon."
    Beamed from a satellite to the helicopter's computer and
    then decoded, the data from the screen provides a 3-D
    perspective of surrounding terrain, including contour lines
    and colorized elevation bands. According to AFSOC officials,
    this gives crews near real-time intelligence data and
    reduces their workload.
    Besides the map display a navigational display provides
    digital course and bearing information with the push of a
    button. The heart of the system, advanced software, includes
    an integrated electronic warfare system.
    Infrared countermeasure controls, including missile warning,
    radar warning and jammer inputs as well as chaff and flare
    countermeasures, are on one display. Crews will receive
    instant cautions and advisories on threats with immediate
    recommendations, including when to dispense countermeasures.
    "With IDAS/MATT, if the computer senses a threat, it will
    anticipate the threat with a direct action the crew can
    take," said Maj. Jeff Zak, MH-53J pilot and chief of AFSOC's
    rotary wing program. "It will read, 'missile launch, break
    left now!'"
    The entire system was designed with the crew member as a
    priority in consolidating a variety of functions, say Pave
    Low crews. Special attention was made to display visible
    instrument panel functions with easy console access while
    increasing the efficient flow of information.
    AFSOC intends to eventually put the new technology on all of
    its aircraft. The system can be readily transferred to other
    SOF platforms and is included in the basic design of the
    CV-22 Osprey, AFSOC's next generation of aircraft, said Zak.
    The tilt-rotor CV-22 is expected to eventually replace the
    MH-53J, the MH-60G Pave Hawk as well as the MC-130 Combat
    Talon I.
    The helicopters of the 20th Special Operations Squadron at
    Hurlburt will be the first to receive the new capability.
    Two prototype modified MH-53Js, are already in use by the
    20th SOS. 

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