Terma is promoting its ACE-Pylon (Adaptive Capability Enhancement) aircraft self defence system for the Korea Aerospace Industries’ (KAI) FA-50 combat aircraft. Company officials told MONS that it is in discussions with KAI regarding the offer of the ACE-Pylon as an option for current and future FA-50 customers.
The ACE Pylon, as its name suggests, is a hardpoint-mounted system which can equip the aircraft and which impedes neither the aircraft’s performance (it is cleared for supersonic flight) nor the platform’s ability to carry ordnance, given that missiles and air-to-ground/air-to-air ordnance can be suspended directly underneath the pod as its ventral side is equipped with a US Department of Defense MIL-STD-8591 stores interface. Moreover, the pylon-based design allows an aircraft to carry two systems on hardpoints beneath its port and starboard wings so as to provide a wide angle of protective coverage around the aircraft.
Company officials told MONS during the Singapore Air Show, held in the city between 6th and 9th February, that the ACE-Pylon can carry an array of customer-specified sensors which Terma can integrate. These can include a basic chaff/flare dispenser, Missile Warning System (MWS) and radar warning receiver. In terms of physical counter-measures the pod is capable of forward and aft dispensing of chaff/flare with any MWS housed in the pod configured to have an upward or downward looking field-of-view. Both forward and aft-mounted MWSs can also be carried in the pod.
Two basic ACE-Pylon designs are available; the first equipping combat aircraft with a stores capacity of 1500 pounds/lb (682 kilograms/kg) which can carry a Hensoldt AN/AAR-60 MILDS-F MWS with the option of forward-firing flares and a nine-G manoeuvre limit, with a second ACE-Pylon design configured for aircraft with a 750lb (341kg) external stores capacity with a similar countermeasures and warning system fit, but limited to 7.3G manoeuvre. Company officials continued that it envisages the ACE-Pylon providing aircraft with enhanced levels of protection beyond their organic self-protection systems thus enabling platforms so equipped to operate in highly contested airspace and/or at low altitudes where the threat from infra-red guided surface-to-air missiles maybe especially acute.