Aeronautical Ground Equipment. A category of various ground systems used to support military aircraft. Could include cargo loaders, aircraft tow tractors, and power carts that provide aircraft hydraulic or electrical power or air conditioning for ground operations.

ALE-39 / ALE-47

Airborne countermeasures dispenser systems found on many US fighters, such as F/A-18 and F-16. The ALE-47 is an updated, more modern version.


Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System. An image acquisition, data storage, and data link system mounted under the nose of US Marine Corps F/A-18D Hornets.


Cross Deck Penant. aka arresting gear wire. An approximately 1.5-inch steel cable strung across the landing area of an aircraft carrier that is engaged by a landing aircraft’s tailhook.


A radar countermeasure consisting of numerous small, thin dipoles of aluminum-coated fiberglass.


Combined Interrogator / Transponder. An aircraft avionics system that combines an IFF and an IFF interrogator. Used to help solve positive identification of other aircraft.


CIWS is a close-in weapon system for defense against airborne threats such as anti-ship missiles and helicopters.

Ejection Seat

A device designed to propel an aircrew occupant safely out of and away from a distressed aircraft.


A generic term for inflight-deployable countermeasures such as chaff, flares, and jammer decoys. Also known as “items.”


Full Authority Digital Engine Control. A system consisting of a digital computer and related accessories that control all aspects of aircraft engine performance.

Faraday Cage

An enclosure designed to block electromagnetic fields.


A countermeasure deployed by aircraft to decoy infrared-seeking weapons systems and missiles.


Global Positioning System. A constellation of satellites that afford precision location information and coordinate generation on earth.


Hands On Throttle-And-Stick.


Inertial Navigation System. A navigation aid that uses a computer, and motion, rotation, and occasionally magnetic sensors to continuously calculate by dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references.


Jet Blast Deflector. A large shield that raises out of the flight deck of an aircraft carrier that protects other aircraft and equipment by deflecting the exhaust of an aircraft at high power settings just prior to launch.


Leading Edge Extension(s). The structural portion of an F/A-18 where the fuselage and wings meet which improves airflow at high AOA and low airspeeds, to improve handling and delay stall.


Maritime Augmented Guidance with Integrated Controls for Carrier Approach and Recovery Precision Enabling Technologies (*phew!*). A computer-software PLM integration system that works with an aircraft’s digital flight control system to reduce pilot workload and improve safety during aircraft carrier landings.


Missile Approach Warning. An aircraft avionics system that detects attacking missiles and alerts the crew.


Slang term for the optical landing system employed to provide glideslope information to pilots landing on an aircraft carrier.


A backup flight control mode of the F/A-18 where the pilot controls the aircraft through direct connection to horizontal stabilator hydraulic actuators. Usually considered an emergency situation.


Multifunctional Information Distribution System. An advanced C4I system incorporating high-capacity, jam-resistant, digital communication links for exchange of near real-time tactical information, including both data and voice, among air, ground, and sea elements.


Pilot Landing Aid Television. A system of low-light TV cameras and displays positioned as a tool for, and to record, aircraft carrier landings and flight deck operations.


Precision Landing Modes. (See MAGIC CARPET)


Plain Old Telephone System. A ship-based communication system that facilitates telephone-type calls via satellite from ship to shore. Notorious for the delay between spoken and heard transmissions, leading to awkward conversations.


Radar Warning Receiver. Passive sensors used to detect the presence of off board radar emitters.


Situation Awareness Data Link. An air communication and data sharing system.


Seawater-activated Release System. A device intended to release a parachuting aircrew from the parachute upon landing in the ocean to minimize entanglement and possible drowning.


Tactical Air-Launched Decoy. An unmanned air-launched radar decoy used to stimulate enemy air defense systems by presenting a realistic threat signature of actual manned aircraft, in radar cross section and flight characteristics