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ELITE 2010

(c)Sentry Aviation News, elite-2010.jpg
After a silent year in 2009. the annual ELITE turned Into a bi-annual exercise in June 2010, Each year (until 2008), around May/June, the ELITE (ELectronic Warfare LIve Training Exercise) takes place in southern Germany. The counties of Baden-Württemberg and Bayern are the main areas of this international exercise that started in 1991 and grew to a very well-known and respected multinational one. This year the exercise consisted of both an air-part and a ground-part, which would come together at the 'Truppenübungsplatz (ground exercise area) Heuberg'.

Air assets
The air-part consisted of around seventy jet fighters, propeller aircraft and helicopters, hosted by the following airbases in Germany:
at Lechfeld (fighterbase): German Tornados, British Tornados, Turkish F-4s, Polish F-16s, Spanish F-18, Norwegian Falcons
at Landsberg (fighterbase): French and German C-160s and Polish and Spanish CN-295s.
at Neuburg (fighterbase): German Eurofighters and Swiss F/A-18s
at Mengen (helicopterbase): German Tiger, Seaking and NH-90; Swiss AS535, Belgium A109
at Laupheim (helicopterbase): German CH-53
Some aircraft flew from their homebases, like the NATO E-3 from Geilenkirchen, French E-3F from Avord and the French C-160G from Metz.

Flying two missions per day, the exercise started with some familiarisation flights to get the foreign aircrews acquainted to the German airfields, traffic control and regulations.

Ground assets
During the exercise, the ground location 'Truppenübungsplatz Heuberg' near Stuttgart was heavily attacked by participating ELITE aircraft. There were 16 different Ground based air defence systems for Electronic Counter Measurement (ECM) and Surface to Air Missile (SAM) sites located at the Heuberg from the ten participating ground forces, totaling 1,500 soldiers. Various systems like CROTALE (France), ROLAND (Germany), GIRAFFE (Sweden), Stinger (Netherlands, Germany, Turkey), GROM (Poland), Patrioiot (Germany) etc., were located at the large fifty-square kilometer compound. Low-level limits were reduced to 500 feet (150m) for jets and 50 feet (15m) for helicopters, so all kind of realistic scenarios could be tested by both aircrews and groundcrews.
The main objective for this exercise is to
• Improve combat success, sustainability and survivability in electronic combat environment
• Intensive training of joint and combined operations
• Raising of combat crews confidence levels
• Analyzing of the efficiency of current jamming and deception techniques as well as tactical procedures with the support of the Bundeswehr Technical centers
• Experimental testing and developing of concepts, procedures and tactics

JAT, Joint Analyses Team
At the Meßstetten Control station of the Luftwaffe, is the Electronic Warfare bunker named ‘Martin’ lies buried well under the ground. In this bunker, the Joint Analyses Team (JAT) gathers all data from the exercise, like flight tracks, (re)actions etc All information is directly sent to the JAT, The Flight Profile Recorders (FPR) inside the participating aircraft send their data continuously towards the bunker. Cameras and tracking equipment from ground based systems distribute their visual information to the bunker, while additional information and data is collected on a PDA’s and sent via the radio waves to the bunker too. On a large screen all info is displayed in 3 dimensions. Some 2 hours after each mission, a high-tech debriefing takes place where all participants exchange their observations, experiences and lessons learned via a video conference. The JAT members will assist in the evaluation and analyses for the participants.

All photo's:
G.J.A. van Boven
H.P.A.M van Eupen
© Sentry Aviation News

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