Comments to the notes on HENIOCHOS 23

By | April 30, 2023

Of Savvas D. Vlassis

In his speech during the DV-DAY of the HNIOHOS 23 exercise, the Vice-Captain (I) of A/GEA Themistocles Bourolias, mentioned, among other things, the new elements that were introduced this year in the exercise, improving it both qualitatively and the points to which it is attributed and will be attributed more focus in the future:

Our goal in the HNIOHOS exercise is to develop difficult scenarios to include multiple modern threats and incidents in real time, so that our forces are trained to deal with Air Threats (Air to Air Defense/A2AD). In addition, HNIOHOS 23 has been marked by the completion of an ISR fusion cell to take advantage of available support capabilities Procedures for selecting time sensitive targets (TST).

Also, I am really pleased that the newly created Synthetic Education Department has been integrated into HNIOHOS 23 and our fighter pilots, air combat coordinators and joint terminal attack controllers (JTAC) they can fight in a sophisticated operating environment that includes training objectives that cannot be met in the real world.

Underlining this, I would like to share with you my vision for further improvement of ENIOHOS in the coming years. expanding Synthetic Education in an internally and potentially externally distributed manner Constructive Live Virtual (Live Virtual), with emphasis on electronic warfare, in different operating environments, in custom complex scenarios and involving all tactical players; aviators, air defense and controllers of Surface Air Defense (SBAD), Joint Terminal Attack (JTAC), etc.».

On the commercial side, this year’s emphasis on optimally managing and exploiting SRI assets, especially offensive Time Sensitive Targets (TST) that fall into the category of High priority goals. As these cases largely involve attacking land or naval targets, the importance of the relative capabilities of an air force is highlighted.

The reference to the JTAC, who by mission inform and coordinate the attacks against the TST, and their equal inclusion among the regular players, also reveals an evolution in the perception of air operations. A more interdisciplinary and supportive approach to land and naval operations than the air arm.

In addition, the reference to the realization in the future of a greater emphasis on Electronic Warfare is related to the above, to the extent that specific operations make it difficult to operate and perform the available ISR means.

All of this constitutes serious challenges for the operational development of the Air Force, as a weapon of greatest influence at an interdisciplinary level. The emphasis on HPT-TST strike missions highlights the high tactical flexibility of the air weapon, which is now increasingly dependent on the ability to operate within a network-centric environment. Some initial observations of concern can be made about them:

  • To what extent are existing and future PA fighter aircraft adequately equipped, equipped to cooperate with JTAC, and therefore capable of HPT-TST strikes?
  • Is it efficient in the long run, rational to omit special features from new fighters, for cost reduction reasons?
  • As part of the F-16V program, are the fighters equipped with HPT-TST strike capability enhancement devices?
  • How are the “missionized” F-16 Block 52+/Advanced two-seaters used, which thanks to the second pilot can offer superior cooperation with a Tactical Controller in targeting or steering with JTAC?
  • Are there modern offensive weapons in the arsenal for more effective and efficient use against HPT-TST?
  • There are no armed Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) that, due to their role as ISR sensors and their long dwell time, lend themselves to HPT-TST attacks.
  • Is the most powerful ISR platform, the ASEPE EMB-145H, sufficiently supported to be distinguished by a high index of operational availability?
  • The PA is completely devoid of electronic warfare aircraft.
  • The future acquisition of the F-35, due to advanced sensors and high capabilities in network-centric operations, shows a normal development.
  • To what extent is it rational for an “average” air force like the Air Force to maintain aircraft without air-to-ground weapons? The Rafale F3R and the French-sourced Mirage 2000-5Mk2 will form 2 of the 9 fighter squadrons, with a main emphasis (“specialization”) on aerial combat.

F-35 Developments: Cost Compression and Call for Industrial Participation

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