Sunday, September 30, 2012

Australia Purchasing Electronic Warfare Aircraft

RAAF Super Hornet EA-18G Growler: Artist's Impression
In 2008 I suggested a relatively quick and easy purchase for Australian defence would be a dozen EA-18G Growler aircraft. The Australian government has now decided to do this, with twelve F/A-18F Super Hornets to be upgraded for electronic warfare.

It should be noted that while this is an upgrade of a proven aircraft, it is not simply a matter of bolting on some extra parts. The EA-18G electronic suite was derived from an older aircraft and is in need of upgrade. So the aircraft are likely to need an upgrade just about as soon as they are delivered. Also the receivers and transmitters of the aircraft need to be updated frequently with new signatures of the enemy equipment they are to detect and jam. This will require a local team of experts and access to their US counterparts to make the aircraft effective. The USA may be reluctant to provide the required sensitive information if Australia can't secure its on-line infrastructure.
RAAF Super Hornet EA-18G Growler: Diagram of Systems

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