When platforms become very expensive, the market requires methods that will enable them to fly and still serve operational needs.
Some air forces operate fighter aircraft that were manufactured in the Soviet Union – and relatively newer ones built in modern-day Russia.
Even when diplomatic circumstances create potential for purchasing Western replacements, this is not always possible because budgets cannot support such a buy.
Israeli companies have realised this, and have launched a method of adapting systems designed for Western fighters to fit eastern fighters.
Recently, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) unveiled an expansion of its ‘Ehud’ Autonomous Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (AACMI) family.
This system was adapted to fit eastern fighter aircraft.
IAI’s Ehud is a real-time air combat, training, debriefing and safety system for fighter pilots.
The system allows high-level live training, with the ability to fire simulated armaments and receive real-time hit\miss assessments, as well as post-exercise debriefing.
The fighters can train jointly with ships, helicopters and air defense platforms, as IAI provides dedicated embedded training systems for each unit.
IAI has also developed an AACMI pod in an R-73 (air-to-air missile) enclosure.
The Israeli company claims this makes Ehud the only AACMI pod on the market which can fit any R-73-compatible aircraft.
According to IAI the Ehud family can be found in AIM-9L, Hellfire and R-73 enclosures, as well as in a variety of onboard line-replaceable unit boxes and racks which fit ships, utility helicopters and air defense platforms.
Ehud could be fitted to additional enclosures upon demand.
Prolonging the life of old fighter fleets is not simple, but companies are trying to solve some of the problems involved.