I / ITSEC 2021: IAI shows the future of live aerial training

The Ehud ACMI system was installed on all BF21 participants, including RAF Typhoon FGR4 aircraft. (Photo: IAI)

IAI explained to I / ITSEC 2021 how it used its EHUD ACMI live training system to integrate participants in the recent Blue Flag 2021 exercise.

The recently concluded exercise Blue Flag 2021 (BF21) Israel will be remembered for two key factors: the integration for the first time of ground targets and air defense threats into training scenarios; and the involvement of the Royal Jordanian Air Force (RJAF).

The technical integration of targets and threats on the ground was made possible by an improved version of the Ehud Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) system from Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI).

The IAI says that “for the first time ever, ground targets have been integrated into the air combat training network with situational awareness, including real-time localization of simulated air defense threats.”

BF21 was “the largest and most advanced air exercise ever held in the country,” noted IAI, with the participation of air forces from France, Germany, Greece, India, from Italy, the UK and the US, as well as the RJAF (although the Jordanian implication has not been made public by either the IAI or the Israeli government).

IAI has provided field services for training and combat analysis to participants, as well as what it calls the provision of “Ehud-type ACMI pods for use on foreign and Israeli air force fighter jets. [as well as] ground instrumentation for moving targets ”.

The Ehud system provided pilots with a unified display of the airspace of all aircraft in the exercise, all air threats, and every tactical event that occurred during the exercise. All pre-planned scenarios have been entered into the system database, providing data for AAR and operational assessment.

Threats were made by the 115th IAF Aggressor Squadron, ground air defense and, according to some reports, F-35 Adirs.

“For the very first time, we have combined the creation of land target data and simulation of air defense systems mimicking existing enemy capabilities,” said Jacob Galifat, director general of the MALAM division at IAI.

“The capabilities of this system in multinational training allow our customers to obtain critical tactical information for their fighter pilots and combat management systems in different types of defense forces. “

Galifat made an interesting point in that this latest variant of Ehud appeared to be able to integrate a disparate group of aircraft with a variety of weapons and avionics into a single exercise management system.

Although Israeli sources have not confirmed the participation of RJAF planes, shepherd understands that F-16AM aircraft participated from bases in Jordan and transited to and from the exercise area over the Negev Desert. It is yet another example of rapprochement between Israel and some of its Arab neighbors.


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Richard V. Johnson