The Defence Minister has signed a year-long contract for an undisclosed amount with the Danish firm Terma. It concerns the modification of pylons installed under the wings of the 54 Belgian F-16s. They will also be given missile detection systems, the company announced on Friday.
F-16s already have a PIDS (Pylon Integrated Dispenser Station) system, which have electromagnetic (“chaffs”) or thermic (“flares”) decoys that will misdirect missiles fired at the plane. They are fired laterally from pylons underneath the plane’s wings.
The Defence department has just ordered PIDS+ pylons from Terma, which also have an AAR-60(V)2 type missile detection system (Missile Warning System, MWS), the company revealed in a press release.
This AAR-60(V)2 system gives the pilot information about missile threats through the electronic Terma ALQ-213 battle management system. This system goes in the cockpit and automatically selects the most efficient sequence for shooting decoys from beneath the plane’s wings and underneath the plane’s fuselage.
The PIDS+ system includes three decoy containers, whereas the current system only has two. “By adding the MWS Terma/Hensoldt auto-protection system, we now have a very high-performing electronic battle management solution for our F-16”, Captain Sébastien D’hondt said in a press release. He is in charge of avionics for these planes at the Defence department.
A military source has said this program is part of the 2017 investment plan to keep Belgium’s F-16 fleet fully operational until a new plane arrives. This is due from 2023 onwards.