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Author: Subject: F-18, Super Hornet & Growler
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[*] posted on 28-6-2020 at 10:20 PM


Boeing to upgrade F/A-18 Block II Super Hornet - Growler with Advanced Cockpit Systems Block III

POSTED ON SATURDAY, 27 JUNE 2020 12:05

According to a contract released by U.S. DoD (Department of Defense) on June 25, 2020, the Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is awarded a $16,543,143 firm-fixed-price order (N00019-20-F-0870) against previously-issued basic ordering agreement N00019-16-G-0001. This order procures retrofit modification upgrades to the series aircrafts’ F/A-18 Block II Super Hornet and Growler display suites within the Block III Super Hornet and Growler Advanced Cockpit Systems.


An F/A-18E Super Hornet, attached to the "Wildcats" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 131, launches from the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69), June 23, 2020. (Picture source U.S. Navy)

The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet.

The single-seat F/A-18 Hornet is the nation's first strike-fighter. It was designed for traditional strike applications such as interdiction and close air support without compromising its fighter capabilities. With its excellent fighter and self-defense capabilities, the F/A-18 at the same time increases strike mission survivability and supplements the F-14 Tomcat in fleet air defense. F/A-18 Hornets are currently operating in 37 tactical squadrons from air stations world-wide, and from 10 aircraft carriers.

The F/A-18 Hornet, an all-weather aircraft, is used as an attack aircraft as well as a fighter. In its fighter mode, the F/A-18 is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in its attack mode, it is used for force projection, interdiction and close and deep air support.

The F/A-18 Super Hornet has 11 weapon stations which include two additional wing store stations and will support a full range of armaments including AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missiles, guided air-to-ground weapons such as Harpoon, SLAM/SLAM-ER, GBU-10, GBU-51, HARM and Maverick; and free-fall air-to-ground bombs, Mk-76, BDU-48, Mk-82LD, Mk-82HD and Mk-84. The aircraft can also carry the GPS- / inertially guided JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition), JSOW (joint stand-off weapon) and JASSM (joint air-to-surface stand-off missile).

The F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III Advanced Cockpit System includes a new 10x19 inch touchscreen display that provides the pilot the capability to see, track and target multiple long-range targets generated by the common tactical picture.
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[*] posted on 11-8-2020 at 08:13 PM


US Navy’s mid-band jammer pod makes first flight on Boeing EA-18G Growler

By Garrett Reim

11 August 2020

The US Navy’s (USN’s) Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band pod made its first flight on the Boeing EA-18G Growler on 7 August.

The Safety of Flight checkout was conducted from NAS Patuxent River in Maryland and intended to ensure that the pod could be safely flown on the EA-18G for follow-on test flights, the service said on 10 August.


Source: US Navy
Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band pod flies for the first time on an EA-18G Growler


“There was a lot of discussion on how the [Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band] pod would affect how the Growler handles and it was exciting to have the jet feel like any other flight,” says Lieutenant Jonathan Williams, test pilot for Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23.

The Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band pod is being developed by Raytheon. It is to replace the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System currently used on the EA-18G. The new jammer is an active electronically scanned array, instead of a mechanically scanned array, which allows for faster and more precise broadcast of radio waves.

The USN plans to field three jammers on its EA-18G: low-, mid- and high-band. In May, the service started testing competing products from L3Harris and Northrop Grumman for its low-band jammer programme. The high-band system is planned to come at an undisclosed later date.

The three jammers are to disrupt or jam a wide variety of enemy radar-guided surface-to-air missiles, making it more difficult for an adversary to see and target incoming aircraft and missiles. The USN’s Growlers are tasked with providing jamming cover for US Air Force and US Army aircraft as well.
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[*] posted on 12-8-2020 at 01:39 PM


US will develop Next Generation Jammer system for Australian EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft

11 AUGUST 2020

According to information released by the Australian Minister for Defence Hon Linda Reynolds on August 10, 2020, Australia has expanded its partnership with the United States to develop the Next Generation Jammer system for the EA-18G Growler, carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft in the U.S. Navy. This unique, high-end capability can disrupt, deceive or deny a broad range of military electronic systems, including radars and communications.
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Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. (Picture source Australian Air Force)

Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said jammer systems used advanced electronic jamming technology to support the Growler aircraft.

Australia has now signed two new agreements to expand this partnership. The first includes production, sustainment and follow-on development of the ALQ-249(V)1 Next Generation Jammer – Mid Band which supports the introduction of advanced electronic jamming technology, and will ensure Australia’s Growler aircraft retain commonality with their US counterparts.

The second agreement enables the development of the next variant, the Next Generation Jammer – Low Band. These systems will augment, and ultimately replace, most legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming Systems currently used on the Growler.

The Next Generation Jammer - Low Band counters low-frequency adversary systems, increasing survivability and lethality of 4th and 5th generation platforms and enables all-domain access for the joint force by supporting electromagnetic spectrum dominance.

The EA-18G Growler is an electronic attack aircraft. It is capable of disrupting, deceiving or denying a broad range of military electronic systems, including radars and communications.

11 EA-18G Growlers are operated by No. 6 Squadron based at RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force) Base Amberley and operate in conjunction with air, land and sea of Australian armed forces. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) was declared in April 2019.
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[*] posted on 12-8-2020 at 01:55 PM


Interesting, that suggests that the RAAF have done enough tests and exercises to confirm the capability is not just worth preserving, but improving.

It would be fascinating to learn their thoughts on how it changes the RAAFs capabilities, but probably never going to happen.






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