Author Topic: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986  (Read 599 times)

Offline Acorn

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Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« on: March 16, 2021, 06:31:59 PM »
Back in 1986, 15 soldiers from 72 Electronic Warfare Squadron based at Cabarlah, QLD travelled to the United States to undergo training on and undertake availability and maintainability trials on an Electronic Support Measures Subsystem.

The ESM Subsystem was developed by Sandars a US company making Electronic Warfare equipment for the US and her allies.

The equipment was fitted onto Unimogs (base stations) and Series 3 Land Rovers (transportables).  At the time great care had to be taken driving the Land Rovers as they were not only quite over loaded but also top heavy.  This was before the 6x6 Pernenties were produced.  After the team returned to Australia in late November 1986, the equipment was transported to Australia in 1987 for ongoing works.

Some pics of the team and equipment are below:



Offline Acorn

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2021, 06:37:43 PM »
Extra pics

Offline Mick

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2021, 08:28:26 PM »

G`day Acorn,

Great history there, thanks for posting.

Cheers, 

Mick

Offline Carzee

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2021, 10:08:09 AM »
Thank you, and very interesting gear. It appears the Mog went with you to the US?

Offline Acorn

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2021, 11:34:00 AM »
Yes Carzee,

The Land Rover Series 3s and Mogs had been transported to Nashua, NH prior to the advance parting arriving.

As stated above, the subsystem encompassed base stations (on Unimogs) and several transportables (on Land Rovers).

It was designed for a high density VHF environment which I believe was itís major flaw for the army. Our doctrine at the time was the defence of Australia where in our wide open spaces, and distances, Comms would have been via HF notwithstanding our transition to encrypted satellite and burst technology.

The system in the base stations worked by constantly scanning the electromagnetic spectrum.

As soon as an enemy pressed the pressal switch on his radio handset, the system would identify the frequency being used and calculate a Line of Bearing (LOB) in the direction of where the signal was emanating from.

An operator in the base station then had the ability to then listen to the enemy signal/chatter to identify interest in the call sign. If there was an interest, he could then engage multiple transportables to also lock onto the frequency and calculate their individual Line of Bearings.  Via triangulation with multiple LOBs, a location and grid reference with an identified Circular Error of Probability (CEP) was calculated.  This could then be used for various purposes.

Given how it worked, the system had itís own identifiable electronic signature.  This was problematic as the preparation time to set up and pull down the masts and antenna arrays was considerable.

The Unimogs had a large hydraulic antenna mast but the transportables had manual masts.  While in NH, we noted that Sandars had US vehicles slightly larger that the Land Rovers with hydraulic masts on them for the South Koreans.  We joked that we needed those, and the South Koreans needed what we had.

Anyway, is was long ago and the above is my recollection of it. 

Offline Barefoot dave

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2021, 10:09:16 PM »
G'day ACORN. Nice to see such and 'intelligent' post! Nice middle history story from the Cabarlah bears!
That DF gear kept me on my toes in the '90s in FNQ. Comms stop then bug out within 3 minutes!
Cheers from ex Patrol Sig.
Dave.
Kind Regards, Barefoot Dave.
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Offline Acorn

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2021, 07:10:52 PM »
G'day ACORN. Nice to see such and 'intelligent' post! Nice middle history story from the Cabarlah bears!
That DF gear kept me on my toes in the '90s in FNQ. Comms stop then bug out within 3 minutes!
Cheers from ex Patrol Sig.
Dave.

LOL!  I saw what you did there Barefoot Dave!  :-).

So the old outfit used that stuff up in FNQ in the 90s huh? 

The Cabarlah bears were a pretty protected breed when I lived with them.  Iím sure theyíve come a long, long way since! 

They do some amazingly useful and life saving work on deployments.

Were you with 103 Sig SQN at Lavarack?  Before 72 EW SQN, I worked for 3FER, 18 FD SQN and then HQ 3 BDE.  Loved my time in FNQ!

Kind regards

Acorn

Offline mike_k

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2021, 08:48:18 AM »
Great post Acorn, very interesting.

Do you have any more photos of the Series 3s by any chance?

Cheers,

Mike.

Offline Acorn

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2021, 04:16:31 PM »
Great post Acorn, very interesting.

Do you have any more photos of the Series 3s by any chance?

Cheers,

Mike.

Hi Mike,

I checked my pics and Iíve precious few of our Series 3s.

I did find this one though.  It was a bit chilly in New Hampshire in late November!

Regards

Acorn

Offline Acorn

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2021, 04:21:33 PM »
Some more pics from NH in 1986.

The last vehicle was a fit out by Sandars for the army of South Korea.

Offline mike_k

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2021, 08:02:47 AM »
Thanks Acorn,

Terrific photos, it looks like our Land Rover unit was a bit bigger than the South Korean one, particularly with the big frame on the roof.

Fascinating bit of history, thanks for posting it up.

Offline Barefoot dave

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Re: Electronic Warfare Equipment - New Hampshire 1986
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2021, 07:06:30 PM »
G'day Acorn. Sorry, didn't get any notification on this thread.
I was 51. Learnt to move very quickly when Cavalry was in support!
Kind Regards, Barefoot Dave.
Reunited with my old mate, RFSV 51 680, 'Sleazy'!!
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