May 17, 2013 17:41 UTC
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On May 15/13, the US DSCA announced a pair of official export requests to provide and install Northrop Grumman’s AN/AAQ-24(V) Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM), for use on Oman and Qatar’s royal flight VVIP jets.
LAIRCM is a defensive system that couples detectors to track incoming missiles, with a laser that locks on to the missile’s seeker. A series of timed laser pulses lead the missile harmlessly astray. That won’t stop a radar-guided S-300, but it isn’t designed to. It’s designed as a defense against the shoulder-fired MANPADS air defense missiles that might be used in a sneak attack, like the one that nailed a DHL airliner over Baghdad in 2003. The specific requests include:
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Apr 11, 2013 13:07 UTC
Latest updates[?]: FY14 budget does transfer production from Super Hornets to Growlers; Why the shift? Future plans and program totals.
EA-18G at Pax
The USA’s electronic attack fighters are a unique, overworked, and nearly obsolete capability. With the retirement of the US Air Force’s long-range EF-111 Raven “Spark ‘Vark,” the aging 4-seat EA-6B Prowlers became the USA’s only remaining fighter for radar jamming, communications jamming and information operations like signals interception . Despite their age and performance limits, they’ve been predictably busy on the front lines, used for everything from escorting strike aircraft against heavily defended targets, to disrupting enemy IED land mine attacks by jamming all radio signals in an area.
All airframes have lifespan limits, however, and the EA-6B is no exception. The USA’s new electronic warfare aircraft will be based on Boeing’s 2-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet multi-role fighter, and has 90% commonality with its counterpart. That will give it decent self-defense capabilities, as well as electronic attack potential. At present, however, the EA-18G is slated to be the only dedicated electronic warfare aircraft in the USA’s future force. Since the USA is currently the only western country with such aircraft, the US Navy’s EA-18G fleet would become the sole source of tactical jamming support for NATO and allied air forces as well.
DID’s FOCUS articles offer in-depth, updated looks at significant military programs of record. This article describes the EA-18G aircraft and its key systems, outlining the program, and keeping track of ongoing developments, contracts, etc. that affect the program.
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