Airborne Services

Phoenix Air provides military clients with user-defined services, including highly modified aircraft for Electronic Attack (EA), Electronic Warfare (EW), Electronic Counter Measures (ECM), Electronic Counter-Counter Measures (ECCM), Communications Jamming, Target Towing for gunnery practice, Target Drone Launch, Data Relay, Range Clearing and other mission-ready systems.  Phoenix Air also provides military clients with “test bed” aircraft for RDT&E on either a short-term or long-term contracted basis.

Phoenix Air’s electronic warfare-equipped aircraft provide threat-representative training for Air-to-Air and Surface-to-Air requirements.  Airborne services include:

  • Day-to-Day Training
  • Exercises and Evaluations
  • Weapons Meets
  • ACMI Range Testing
  • Intercept Controller Training
  • Threat Simulations (Air-to-Ship)
  • Aerial Target Towing for Live Fire Exercises
  • Airborne BQM Drone Launches and In-flight Control
  • Onboard Link 4, 11, 16 Data Relay Systems
  • Telemetry Relay for Vandal and AMRAAM Testing

Gray Birds

The most versatile military training aircraft owned and operated by Phoenix Air is its fleet of Gray Birds, highly modified Learjet 35/36 aircraft with internal EA, EW, ECM and ECCM systems, internal mission power, array of external antennas, and hard points under each wing for external pod or tow reel carriage.

Utilizing Phoenix Air’s custom interior modular design system, these aircraft can be quickly configured for client-specified requirements allowing Phoenix Air jets to perform multiple roles during mission sorties.  Phoenix Air Gray Birds are the ultimate in “plug and play” technology.

Gulfstream Aircraft
Phoenix Air also owns and operates Gulfstream G-I turboprop aircraft configured for “special missions” sorties.  These aircraft have a large interior to allow the installation of multiple operator control stations and bulky electronic equipment.  These aircraft come equipped with internal mission power, external antennas and under-belly hard points for external pod carriage.

Aerial Target Towing

Phoenix Air has modified many of its Gray Bird Learjets and Gulfstream G-I aircraft to provide aerial target towing capability.  Company specialists install the Meggitt Defense Systems RM-30 two-way Tow Reel onto aircraft external hard points.  An electronics warfare officer inside the aircraft controls these tow reels.  The RM-30 allows the aerial target to be released from the aircraft and deployed up to 30,000-feet behind the aircraft on either a high-strength metal wire or non-radar reflective cord.  At completion of the mission, the target can be reeled back to the aircraft and secured for landing, allowing expensive aerial arrays to be used multiple times.

Aerial Targets include:

  • Hayes TLX-1 Height-Keeping Aerial Target
  • TPT (Onboard I.R. Source Aerial Target)
  • EXW-1, TRX-9, RTT-9 Aerial Targets (Gunnery Targets)
  • Missed Distance Indicator (MDI) Aerial Target Heads and Scoring System available on modified EXW-1 targets (allows large caliber guns and cannons accuracy measurements without destroying the aerial target)

Aerial Targets can be equipped as any of the following:

  • Visual – Light, Smoke, Banner, Sleeve
  • Radar – Luneberg, Reflectors
  • Infrared – Propane, Jet Fuel
  • Height Keepers
  • Calibrated Spheres for Radar Calibration

BQM-74 Aerial Target Drone Launch

Phoenix Air’s technical staff engineered, modified and certified the only two commercial aircraft in the world capable of in-flight launching the Northrop BQM-74 Chukar Aerial Target Drone.  These dedicated Gulfstream G-I aircraft have two external sets of hard points on the belly to allow the carriage of two BQM-74 aerial drones.  Inside the aircraft are launch controller stations staffed by highly experienced Phoenix Air electronic warfare officers managing the drones.  Phoenix Air also has data relay capabilities inside the launch aircraft which allows an on-shore drone pilot’s line-of-sight signal to the drone (once launched from the aircraft) to be significantly extended by auto-relaying through the aircraft, while the launch aircraft remains on station in the exercise area for controller relay purposes.

Mission-ready Phoenix Air Gulfstream G-I launch aircraft include:

  • Government certified for dual BQM-74 carriage and launch
  • Dual view videotaping of BQM-74 carriage and release operations
  • Exceptional economy and flexibility of aerial launch operations relative to current ground launch options
  • Modified Gulfstream G-I launch aircraft equipped with digital RDR-1500B Surface Search Radar, UHF Autocat Relay and Link 16