The Australian government has advised that the release of a request for tender (RFT) for the provision of electronic warfare training services (EWTS) has once again been delayed.
The release of the RFT had previously been rescheduled from May to July. It is now expected to be released sometime between mid-August and late September.
In a notice posted on the government's tender website, a statement read, "The purpose of this notice is to advise that the release of a request for tender for the provision of electronic warfare training services is now scheduled for publication during the period mid-August to late September 2017."
"The Commonwealth regrets any inconvenience resulting from this rescheduling.
"This ATM Notice is provided in support of the planned procurement for electronic warfare training services (EWTS) to be provided to the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)."
The phase-in period for this proposed contract is planned to commence in July 2018 and continue for 18 months. Delivery of the services is planned to commence January 2020 immediately following the completion of the phase-in period.
Currently, Raytheon Australia provides the RAAF two highly modified Lear Jet aircraft from Nowra, which it has done since 2001.
The EWTS provided by Raytheon was initially a single leased Lear 35 with a “Smart Crow Plus” EW mission system comprising noise jamming systems, communications jamming and deception, a radar attack threat simulator (RATS) and the ability to deploy chaff.
In June 2005, this was augmented by another Lear 35 mounting the mature “Smarter Crow” system also including computerised mission planning and secure communications.
Both aircraft can simulate missile and air-intercept threats, jam communications and deploy chaff, simulating the tactics RAN defence systems would likely face in a modern battlespace.
The aircraft are used for operator training, pre-deployment workups, on exercise and to test ship defence systems.
They are usually crewed by two pilots and two EW tactical co-ordinators, providing what Defence sees as a vital role in ensuring shipboard defences are exercised and assessed.