Military Embedded Systems

Network-centric avionics capabilities demonstrated by HENSOLDT


July 02, 2020

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Network-centric avionics capabilities demonstrated by HENSOLDT

GERMANY. The German Air Force's Tactical Data Link Exercise, Timber Express, took place at Jagel Airbase in Schleswig-Holstein. This annual exercise focuses on testing and evaluating the interoperability of various systems using multiple tactical data links across the land, sea, and air domain. HENSOLDT participated with equipment and personnel from its Avionics division, demonstrating Tactical Data Link (TDL) integration into airborne mission systems.

In a joint endeavor with Airbus Helicopters Germany (Donauwörth), an H145M helicoter was modified to allow the exchange of tactical data via Link 16 and VMF. HENSOLDT’s equipment provided the H145M with cross-platform communication capabilities which is an element of future network-oriented operations.

HENSOLDT provided the Mission System based on Euroavionics' Euronav7 software, which has been upgraded to bring TDL functionality to the Human-Machine Interface (HMI). The software for data link processing was installed on a demonstrator rack in the crew compartment. Using the default communication equipment installed on the helicopter, the connection to the data links was established.

On the H145M helicopter, HENSOLDT demonstrated the execution of digital-aided close air support scenarios (DaCAS) with Joint Terminal Air Controllers (JTAC) via VMF, showing how the digital information flow eased mission execution and reduced operator workload. Using EuroNav's functionality to steer the on-board EO/IR sensor, a semi-automated slewing of the camera to the received coordinates and the verification of the target via video-downlink could be demonstrated.

The gained knowledge from Timber Express will be included in the upgrade of existing avionics, as well as in the development of future systems and the integration of sensors, according to HENSOLDT. 

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