Leonardo's Airborne & Space Systems business has confirmed that its SAGE digital electronic support measures (ESM) system has entered service with the Indonesian Air Force (Tentara Nasional Indonesia-Angkatan Udara: TNI-AU).
Under contract to US-based prime contractor Integrated Surveillance and Defense Inc (ISD), Leonardo was in 2015 selected to supply the SAGE 600 variant for integration onto the single CN-235 maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) operated by the TNI-AU. The contract marks the first time that the SAGE ESM system has been selected for a fixed-wing MPA application.
In a statement, Leonardo said that the SAGE installation and integration had been performed earlier in 2016, with the modification programme led by PT Dirgantara Indonesia and ISD (the latter responsible for integrating the Merlin mission suite comprising radar, ESM, AIS, and forward-looking infrared). Flight testing was conducted during mid-year.
Developed by Leonardo to meet demands for radar-band electronic surveillance, signal analysis, threat classification, and precision emitter geo-location, the SAGE system uses parallel wideband and channelised digital receivers to achieve enhanced sensitivity, fine frequency measurement and very high probability of intercept in the frequency range 2-18 GHz (with options for C/D and K band extensions).
According to Leonardo, a key discriminator is the ability of SAGE to geo-locate from a single platform. This is achieved by the use of advanced algorithmic techniques and a pair of high accuracy interferometric direction finding arrays, yielding angle of arrival measurement accuracy of typically 1° RMS. For the CN-235 embodiment, the arrays have been fitted port and starboard in the rear fuselage.
SAGE is already in service with the Republic of Korea Navy as part of the electronic warfare suite fitted to the eight AW159 helicopters acquired under the Maritime Operational Helicopter programme. The SAGE system is also being refitted to eight Brazilian Navy Lynx Mk 21A helicopters being upgraded by Leonardo Helicopters and due to enter service from 2017.
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