Mar 28, 2014

Why The US Navy Really Wants 22 More Growlers

After several years of appearing to dislike the F-35C, or at least appearing lukewarm to buying it, the Navy today finally revealed why it wants to buy more F-18Gs from Boeing.
Basically, it all boils down to the fact that the F-18G, known as the Growler, emits a broader set of electronic warfare frequencies than does the F-35. The two planes flying together are a much more effective strike package, according to Navy analysis, than either one flying on its own. The F-18G “supplements and complements” the F-35, he said. In fact, Manazir said the new planes were not needed for strictly naval missions but for joint forces, including fighting alongside our allies.
The F-35 is targeted against a narrower array of frequencies and emits only in a fairly narrow swath in front of the aircraft. The F-35 is the only US aircraft designed to defeat the most advanced Russian anti-aircraft systems such as the S-400 so the guess is that the JSF emits in frequencies designed to confuse and disable the radar systems that feed those. The Growler can engage in electronic warfare not only as it flies forward but continues to emit even after it begins to return to base.
The Navy has determined that using EA–18Gs reduces the length of a campaign and increases effectiveness. And this is with the current Growler, not ones that will use the Next Generation Jammer. Those aircraft, would be even more capable.

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