Critical defensive system being tested at Redstone Arsenal - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Critical defensive system being tested at Redstone Arsenal

(Source: WAFF) (Source: WAFF)
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

Every time an American military aircraft takes off on a mission, it's a target. Crews at Redstone Arsenal are working around the clock to make sure the aircraft and crew come home safe.

Maj. Cameron Keogh, an experimental test pilot for Redstone Test Center, said he and his crew are on a mission to keep pilots safe. He said they are constantly flying aircraft, loaded with test systems, across the United State to make sure they're ready for anything.

“It was a mission, right? So any time you’re out on a mission you have objectives at hand that you’re trying to accomplish. You’re trying to get those done the most efficient way possible,” said Keogh.

Threats against our warfighters has RTC testing what is called Aircraft Survivability Equipment. This defensive system is evolving into an essential part of military aircraft. The exact kind of equipment on these test runs is a closely guarded secret. But we do know the system has sensors that can detect the threats, let the pilots know what’s coming and do something about it.

“Notify the crews and they’ll engage in TTPs to try to defeat the threat. In other cases will actually deploy countermeasures to actually defeat the threat itself,” Keogh said.

The RTC experimental test pilots and engineers collect data, analyze and compare systems, and push them to their limits.

“From that, we’ll determine what type of threat it is and the action that needs to be taken. It could be anywhere from the aircrew fly specific patterns. It could be we eject a flare to try to defeat the seeker head. It could be we direct some energy to the guided munition itself to try to defeat the seeker head. All to save the aircrews and their passengers on board,” Keogh said.

RTC is the only Army facility in the country with a full-scale testing site that can do this. RTC officials say they test all the components and systems. In doing so, they look at three main areas of functionality: how well it works, defining system weaknesses, and the examination of software and hardware upgrades.

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