September 9, 2004 (by 1st Lt. Brooke Davis) - The F-16 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile, or HARM, Targeting System test team here recently completed an early contractor test and evaluation on a new pod that will potentially expand the Fighting Falcon's warfighting capabilities.
F-16s line up on the runway while testers prepare the aircraft for the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile, or HARM, Targeting System test mission. The HARM Targeting System, or HTS, is a pod designed to aid the pilot when targeting the AGM-88 that seeks out and destroys surface-to-air missiles. The missions were performed back-to-back Aug. 10 and 11. [Photo by Tom Reynolds
The HARM Targeting System, or HTS, is a pod designed to aid the pilot when targeting the AGM-88 that seeks out and destroys surface-to-air missiles, advancing current Air Force Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses, or SEAD, capabilities.
The current HTS pod can only be carried on the right side of the F-16, and the new HTS pod can be carried on either side of the F-16, offering pilots enhanced precision targeting, said Maj. Don Sheesley, 416th Flight Test Squadron project pilot.
"This was an outstanding effort to support the current needs of the warfighter. By taking an early look at the pod's capabilities, we'll be able to get the system to the warfighter sooner," said Major Sheesley. "With new equipment like this pod, it's important that we work out as many bugs as possible before the developmental test and evaluation phase of testing."
Two missions were performed Aug. 10 and 11 using F-16 Block 50s from both Edwards and South Carolina Air National Guard based at McEntire ANG
Station, S.C. The aircraft used for testing were block 50
F-16s that have upgraded engines, radar and multi-function cockpit displays, explained Major Sheesley.
Efforts by the 416 FLTS, HTS Systems Program Office and the S.C. ANG enabled testers to assemble all the players needed to successfully complete the four-ship missions. The combined efforts of these organizations made it possible to complete all the planning, coordination and execution in two weeks, said Dean Tenderholt, 416th Flight Test Squadron HTS program manager.
"By maximizing use of available resources like the Air National Guard aircraft and maintenance crew, we were able to complete the tests back-to-back," said Mr. Tenderholt. "Edwards has so many test projects going on right now, and working in concert with other organizations helped make this early risk reduction test successful."
As the HTS project enters the DT&E phase, testers here will continue evaluating the new capability until it is ready for warfighters to employ operationally.