B 52 electronic warfare

Unread postPosted: 16 Oct 2020, 14:19
by tank-top
Recently two SU 27’s buzzed a B-52 over the Black Sea. An ex coworker of mine flew the B1 and B52, said the B1 was obviously more fun but the B52 was safer due to the electronics warfare suite it carried, “he could easily black out a city if he wanted”. I’m sure some of that was hyperbole and a little exaggeration but I also think he was verbally dancing around some real capabilities. Given the close proximity of the Flankers could the B52 have put enough electromagnetic radiation on them to cause their aircraft some real problems or would it just piss them off enough to get themselves shot down? I know we have Electronic Warfare equipment we cant even test in the US, everyone with a shiny new big screen would be upset, would this equipment be powerful enough to damage a hardened Russian jet at under 1 mile?

Re: B 52 electronic warfare

Unread postPosted: 17 Oct 2020, 12:29
by mixelflick
Quite likely, but we'll also never know. Such systems are some of the most heavily guarded secrets/capabilities USAF employs. I've heard stories of the B-1 testing its EW suite out west, "screwing up" entire cities (that was the term used, obviously not very specific). And this was with it flying at least on state away. Those states are obviously very big, we're not talking MA, CT or RI here..

What is clear is that these aircraft have a very robust EW suite, and given the B-52 has plenty of space for such, probably carries something similar (possibly even more capable). Since it has a much larger radar cross section, it would make a lot of sense..

Re: B 52 electronic warfare

Unread postPosted: 17 Oct 2020, 22:10
by tank-top
My thought is it’s got 8 turbine engines, it can probably produce a lot of voltage. I’m sure we won’t ever know but I don’t think I’d want to be in the cockpit of a Flanker a couple hundred yards away if they decided to fully use their electronic warfare suite.

Re: B 52 electronic warfare

Unread postPosted: 18 Oct 2020, 11:37
by pron
Found a article by Steve Blank who worked on the electronics on the B-52.

Getting B-52s through the Soviet Air Defense System.

The largest payload next to the nuclear weapons on B-52s was the electronic warfare equipment, which was to designed to help the bomber jam its way through the radar environment in the Soviet Union. The bombers had wideband panoramic receivers and displays, chaff, and kilowatts of jammers up and down the frequency band.

I remember a few times when the bombers were flying practice missions over their test ranges. On the way home the Electronic Warfare Officer would “accidentally” turn on the communications jammers over populated parts of the U.S. and shut down television and FM radio stations for hundreds of miles. This stuff was so powerful it probably could affect the Nielsen ratings. When they landed, the EWOs would write it up as an “equipment malfunction.”

More here: https://steveblank.com/2009/03/29/the-s ... se-system/