Hundreds come to Museum of Aviation to see latest in military technology

Hundreds come to Museum of Aviation to see latest in military technology

wcrenshaw@macon.comMarch 21, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- In modern warfare, computers and software are as important as bullets and bombs.

This week, 2,300 people from around the world are in Warner Robins for what organizers say is the largest military technology exposition in the Southeast.

The Dixie Crows Symposium, now in its 37th year, is put on by the Dixie Crow Chapter of the Association of Old Crows, an organization of electronic warfare professionals. The expo opened Tuesday at the Museum of Aviation with 60 exhibitors, mostly military contractors.

One of those is Terma, a company headquartered in Denmark with a branch in Warner Robins that employs about 40 people. The company has an F-16 cockpit at the expo, which visitors can climb into and get a demonstration of the company’s products that give pilots an edge in combat.

Ole Fogh, a retired Royal Danish Air Force major general and pilot who’s now in sales for Terma, said the company’s technology is used mostly in F-16 and A-10s. The expo offers a chance to reach new customers in other weapons systems, he said.

“We are here to show the capabilities of our systems,” Fogh said. “Our main customer is the U.S. Air Force, but there is also the U.S. Army that has 5,000 helicopters.”

He demonstrated the company’s newest technology, a three-dimensional audio system for pilots that allows them to hear the direction of an attack missile without having to turn their head to look. The company also makes an automated system that throws flares to misdirect incoming missiles as soon as the missiles are detected.

Ron Hoppel and John Meeker, engineers in the 579th Software Maintenance Squadron at Robins Air Force Base, came to the show to get ideas of how they can better maintain and update older radar-jamming technology.

“We have some obsolescence issues we have to deal with,” Meeker said. “We wanted to find out how they can help us support some of the old stuff still flying.”

Lisa Fruge, a BAE System employee and president of the Dixie Crow Chapter, said the event is good for companies and customers who deal in military technology.

“It’s to continue to boost the education and awareness of electronic warfare and information operations throughout our network which extends around the world,” she said.

Proceeds from the event are used to fund college scholarships. Last year the Dixie Crows handed out $40,000 in scholarships.

The exhibition continues through Thursday and also includes classes and other events, including an awards banquet Wednesday night.

To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.

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