In modern warfare, with a modern force, with the adversaries we’re going to face, and with the force we intend to wield as a joint force, notions of air superiority, notions of maritime superiority, they are not possible without control of electromagnetic spectrum” David Mueller, Lt. Col. of the US Forces, said on a conference at Association of Old Crows International Symposium October 29th, 2019.
This statement clearly points out the importance of spectrum dominance for successful execution of a mission within the increasingly challenging electromagnetic environment (EME) in both present and future scenarios. But there is a rapidly increasing amount of emitters and respectively multiplexing signals which drastically degrade the performance of most electronic warfare equipment. In parallel technological advance of radar threats is progressing very fast (e.g. active electronically scanned arrays, frequency agile emitters, etc.) which is leveraging the dominance of integrated air defence systems all over the world. This trend is increasingly threatening the Air Force. To encounter such threats as well as the evolving necessity for comprehensive EME enablers to ensure mission success, an answer is needed.
HENSOLDT has developed its Kalætron® product family to secure the superiority of modern airborne platforms. Kalætron® is the answer for regaining spectrum dominance in modern and dense scenarios by providing superior capabilities for tactical and strategic ISR as well as protecting allied forces from enemy air defence. Currently the Kalætron® product Family is based on three major pillars:
• Kalætron® RWR
• Kalætron® Integral
• Kalætron® Attack
HENSOLDT provides the preconditions for fast decision making and enhanced situational awareness, advanced protection of platform and personnel as well as suppression of enemy air defence. Kalætron® is the epitome of a centre of complementary and excelling capabilities with significant growth potential and applying an integrated approach to dominate the electromagnetic spectrum. Furthermore, Kalætron® will become a strong foundation for new network centric warfare capabilities which are key enabler for overall superiority in the modern battle space.
The origin of Kalætron®
Modern radar systems are very agile and use large frequency ranges. Communication signals from civil and military applications use overlapping spectra. The correct detection and localisation of emitters is becoming increasingly difficult nowadays, and that is relevant not only when referring to urban terrain.
In future it will become more and more challenging to gain adequate prior knowledge of potential threats within the electromagnetic spectrum needed as an input for legacy algorithms. Not only software defined radios, but also software defined radars and software defined seeker heads will become a standard. Following this, traditional systems which use a simple matching of existing and real-time data, have a significantly lower performance which neither provides sufficient protection nor superiority of the platform. This new situation requires new solutions which can only be delivered by a broadband full digital radar warner with latest state of the art algorithms. Starting from this important consideration as a baseline, it was of fundamental importance for HENSOLDT to give at the right moment the right answer to future needs.
Our vision to design a completely new revolutionary modular system led us to “think big” in terms of a complete Electronic Warfare products & solutions family. The first result is an innovative multipurpose receiver system (Digital Front End Receiver + ESM Central processor).
The Radar Warning Receiver is the first application, if you want, the “Zero Hour” for the Kalætron® product family, which was extended by ESM, ELINT and SIGINT applications covered under the “Kalætron® Integral” Product Line. Not long ago it has been also complemented with “Kalætron® Attack”, including ECM core elements (AESA EW+ECM processor).
The use of AI within Kalætron®
Kalætron® is a combination of KALEI-(doscope) and (Elec)-TRON whereas the ligature æ stands for “artificial Intelligence inside HENSOLDT electronics”.
We bring artificial intelligence inside HENSOLDT electronics. This concept, very clear to grasp, shows the traditional HENSOLDT spirit of constant innovation.
The artificial intelligence algorithms exclusively developed for Kalætron® are used in a first step to identify new threat patterns out of a huge amount of collected data.
This allows Kalætron® to deal with unexpected threats which have not been fully included in the threat library. Kalætron®, combined with digital signal processing, RF, and software-defined systems uses deep learning algorithms to enable electronic warfare- and next-gen persistent ISR [intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance] HENSOLDT applications to offer more accurate, agile, and adaptive sensors-processing systems than ever.
Due to its fully digital design, the new Kalætron® RWR detects and identifies threats incredibly quickly and with a very low false alarm rate within an extremely wide frequency range.
The Kalætron® RWR is able to detect new threat patterns from a huge amount of collected raw data thanks to its sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) techniques.
This is especially important when tasked to identify the latest air defence radar systems that cover an extremely wide bandwidth or which hop between particular frequencies in fractions of a second. Thus Kalætron® RWR enhance fighters, helicopters and transport aircrafts protection even against upcoming anti-aircraft weapons and integrated air defence systems, while also offering great potential for adaptation to cope with future threat. This includes a superior detection range of hostile emitters of twice the range of an analogue narrow band receiver as well as geo-location capabilities.
Kalætron® RWR is available “off-the-shelf” in three different pre-defined configurations:
• RWR-S (1-18GHz; Light H/C, UAV)
• RWR-M (0.5-40GHz; Transport H/C, Attack H/C)
• RWR-L (0.5-40GHz; Fighter A/C, Transport A/C)
Kalætron® RWR soil and test flights qualification activities are done in CW34/2019 and CW23/2020.
While Kalætron® RWR is serving as an advanced system for superior platform protection, Kalætron® Integral Product Line provides assets for tactical and strategic abilities to gather intelligence on hostile emitters with respective locations. With its clear designation for ISR missions it contains solutions as well as products for
Possessing such capabilities Kalætron® Integral serves both the mission planning and post-mission analysis as well as giving a tactical and strategic advantage to commanders and users.
Air forces and their transport and combat aircraft are threatened by new air defence capabilities (A2 / AD, IADS, LPI capabilities, frequency agility, enhanced missile performance, etc.). The crews’ safety, the aircraft survivability, and its systems assertiveness must be ensured and supported in all times. Our state-of-the-art air- Electronic Warfare capabilities are a prerequisite for “Freedom of Movement” and a tool for the commanders to foster “Freedom of Operations”. With our Kalætron® Attack Product Line, HENSOLDT develops a key solutions with a universal and for the first time fully digitized technology, aimed to achieve/aid the entire chain of desired effects – no matter from a close or from a long distance thus optimally fulfilling the requirements of an Electronic Combat role for the Eurofighter or any other fast mover. Kalætron® Attack is the basis for providing the following capabilities:
• Stand-off jamming (SOJ)
• Escort jamming (ESJ)
• Stand-in jamming (SIJ)
The innovative solutions offered by Kalætron® can cope with current and future operational scenarios. There is a solution for every customer requirement. The Kalætron® architecture is designed to be completely platform independent. The Kalætron® system inherent modularity – with its high quality digitalization done close to the source of information – provides the benefit of lower risk and less installation costs for platform integrator, as well as enhanced installed performance.