Tuesday, 8 May 2012

8 May 1982 - it all goes Pete Tong

Logbook entry:  ECM Trial .40 minutes
                        ECM Trial .30 minutes
                        ECM Trial .40 minutes

I learnt a great deal about Exocet today.  We flew three times with the jammer.  The first two trips were to check the system out and get the range procedures sorted for a live firing later that day.  Andromeda was on the range with a missile ready to fire at us.  At least it was our own ship!!
One thing we had been told was that if it came to it we could jam two missiles at the same time.  This was because once locked onto a jamming source the Exocet would wait two seconds before going back into it's own search if the jamming source stopped. So we could switch between two missiles and keep them both deceived.
So on the last sortie of the day, there we were at six hundred feet hovering off to one side of a barge covered in radar reflectors to make it  look like a frigate to any unsuspecting sea skimming missile. The countdown began. Andromeda fired her missile.  We picked it up on Orange Crop and shortly afterwards on the Spectrum Analyser.  Bob turned on the Jammer and tuned the transmit spike on top of the biggest signal.  And that was the problem there seemed to be several other spikes and some were quite big.  Knowing that we could tune off quickly and not lose the missile we did so and confirmed we were on the biggest signal.
The missile flew directly over the target.

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