MEWSG's current stock of airborne EW equipment consists of 21 AN/ALQ-167(V) radar jamming pods, nine AN/AST-4(V) threat emitter simulator pods and four AN/ALE-43 chaff dispensers.
A MEWSG spokesman told JED that no current system completely matches the new threat simulator requirement, but that the capability will be in the order of that available from the US Navy's AN/AST-6 equipment or the Ericsson-Rodale Digital Airborne Radar Threat Simulator pod.
MEWSG was established in 1983, based on a 1977 requirement to form a permanent group within NATO for EW training in NATO exercises.
The next expansion of MEWSG is called Phase III and is a land-based mobile communications jamming and deception facility which will be based at Anzio, Italy, and will be operational in 1993.
As an evolving organization, MEWSG was to have acquired three heavy jamming platforms similar to the USN's Fleet Electronic Warfare Support Group (FEWSG) NKC-I35A/EC-24A aircraft.
Outside this equipment (supported by its own EW engineering workshop), the company also flies Royal Navy ATRS-5 threat simulator pods and MEWSG ALQ-I67(V), AST-4(V) and ALE-43 systems.
The keys to any NATO-driven, contractor-based expansion lie with the future development of MEWSG and how the alliance chooses to define the term "national assets." As currently structured, the NATO training budget includes funding for the employment of "national" EW assets (e.g., Norway's Falcon 20s, Britain's T.17s, Italy's PD-808s, etc.) in the annual training round.
The future of MEWSG has already been touched on, and it is possible that its development could become increasingly interlinked with that of the replacement for 360 Squadron.
According to Orsini, Southern Region is one of MEWSG's "best customers" despite being "resource poor." In fact, MEWSG's van-mounted communications/radar jamming equipment spends 90% of its time deployed in the Mediterranean on an annual basis.
Alongside MEWSG, the command uses dedicated training assets from within the alliance (primarily British and Italian, with increasing levels of German, Spanish and Dutch participation) and civil contractors.
MEWSG provided 17 pod systems: two ALE-43 chaff dispensers, four AST-4 threat emitter simulators and 11 ALQ-167 radar jammers.
Alongside these pod systems, DD '91 benefied from one of MEWSG's van-mounted communications/radar jamming systems.