The Terma Advanced Countermeasures Dispenser System (ACMDS) has been designed to coordinate, integrate, and operate expendable countermeasures payloads on fixed-wing fighter, transport, and large-body aircraft as well as helicopters.
The ACMDS dispenser suite is typically controlled via the AN/ALQ-213 EW Management Unit (EWMU) or Defensive Aids Controller (DAC), which provides a reprogramming interface, automatic decision support for the pilot in a threat environment, built-in training capability, and full EW suite control, if desired.
The next generation ACMDS system, which was introduced in 2017, supports many new world leading capabilities:
Smart Stores Communication Interface (SSCI) – introduction of the coming NATO STANAG 4781 smart stores interface, enables in-flight communication and optimal use of smarts expendables (e.g. Expendable Active Decoy, Hardkill and multi-shot cartridges). The SSCI also ensures automatic expendable type recognition and automatically logs payload logistic information, including air carriage life and use-by-date.
Improved Mixed Payload Capability – the systems enables a fully user programmable mixed payload capability, which is supported by intuitive programming tools and visual indication on the cockpit displays.
Additional Safety Features – additional hardware-controlled safety functions to support Weight-On-Wheels (WoW), payload load-out restrictions (e.g. chaff or flare only), installation dependent dispense interval limitations to protect aircraft structure, and configurable discrete dispense inhibits per magazine.
Third Magazine Support – the Digital Sequencer Switch (DSS) is now available in a new variant, which supports 3 magazines. This enables cost effective solutions for many pylon and pod installations.
Preplanned Improvements – the ACMDS is prepared for support of 5th gen aircraft through preplanned improvements via an expansion board supporting Ethernet interface and door controls.
The ACMDS components consist of a series of autonomous line-replaceable units that include
- Digital Sequencer Switch
- Safety Switch
- Dispenser Assemblies
- Dispenser Magazines
- Retainer Plates.
In addition to the standard Air Force dispenser assemblies, as illustrated below, the ACMDS components have been integrated in applied aerostructures as both scab-on, pylon-mounted, and podded solutions. Examples include:
- F-16 Pylon Integrated Dispenser System (PIDS)
- Modular Aircraft Survivability Equipment (MASE)
- Modular Countermeasures Pod (MCP).
All integrates both ACMDS and a missile warning system.
The ACMDS system has been installed on +2,500 aircraft worldwide, counting more than +25 different platforms.
The non-ITAR ACMDS system has been combat proven through operational service for more than 25 years with a demonstrated mean time between failure value of >18,000 hours.
The ACMDS includes mixed payload capability within a magazine as well as a Flare-Up modification of the F-16 PIDS pylon, allowing dispensing of pyrophoric flares from pylons on stations 3 and/or 7.
A block diagram for a typical ACMDS installation is illustrated below.
The ACMDS suite includes a full suite of both ground support equipment by means of Dispenser Test Adapters, Payload Simulator & Stray Voltage Tester, and Dispense Program Analyzer as well as a Windows PC based EW Mission Support Tool (EWMST) application for field/in-country organic mission data generation and post-flight analysis.