Australian lawmakers confident in F-35's future

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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 May 2019, 12:18

Geez, install a frickin' BIRD BATH at Willytown IF'n they don't already have one. Don't recall ever reading about one there.

Yeah corrosion is a bitch, which is tamed by regular inspections and rotation of aircraft in/out of any potential corrosive environment - never let them go to the ABC for example. :mrgreen:

FLAT top navies of the F-35B/C world must be quaking in their boots after reading this nonsense. Corrosion - deal with it.
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Unread post07 May 2019, 16:36

It's a risk mitigation issue. Nowhere do they say they have a problem with or even found any corrosion. :doh:
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Unread post08 May 2019, 02:14

When will complaints come in Oz about 'corrosive Super Hornets & Growlers' (not if BOING! has anything to do with it). Whilemean back in the saddle the USN Growlers will get an update and as has been stated earlier Oz is 'all the way with NGJ' and any Growler updates (updates for 'soon to be retired'? Shornets UNK). Anyhoo I guess Ozians will hear more soon.
Boeing to Retrofit Existing EA-18G Growler Fleet
07 May 2019 Ben Werner

"NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. – Boeing is developing upgrades to the Navy’s existing EA-18G Growler fleet to quickly deliver a Block II electronic warfare aircraft with improved sensor capabilities and more efficient fuel tanks. Boeing plans to have system functional requirements for the Growler Block II upgrades by the end of the year, Jennifer Tebo, Boeing’s director of development for the F-18 Super Hornet. Tebo spoke about the Growler upgrades Tuesday at the 2019 Sea-Air-Space expo. “The thinking of Growler at this time is that it’s a retrofit program to deliver capability in the 2025-time frame,” Tebo told USNI News.

To deliver new capabilities to the Navy faster, the service opted to have its existing Growler fleet brought in for upgrades, which will incorporate new sensors and some of the Super Hornet Block III upgrades — like conformal fuel tanks.

...The conformal tanks hold slightly less fuel than external tanks, however, in the case of the Super Hornets, the conformal tanks are lighter and make the jets more aerodynamic, resulting in an increased range of about 129 nautical miles, Boeing officials previously stated. [ https://news.usni.org/2018/05/23/33808 ]…

...“We know the threats are evolving fast, so we need to keep pace, and that is a key point of Growler Block II,” Tebo said."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/05/07/boeing ... wler-fleet
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Unread post08 May 2019, 18:30

More on Growler Block II including video interview with Tebo.

https://www.defensenews.com/digital-sho ... re-lethal/

First, Boeing plans to improve the Growler’s electronic attack sensors. For example, it is considering enhancements to Northrop Grumman’s ALQ-218 sensor system, which is used by the Growler for radar warning, electronic support measures and electronic intelligence, Tebo said.

It plans to add “adaptive and distributed processing” so that the E/A-18’s computers can quickly digest and pump out threat information. And because those computers will be processing more information and delivering it to the pilot and weapon system officer, it makes sense to improve interfaces so that data is easy to digest and the aircrew’s workload is minimized, she said.

“All of that is kind of accomplished through software defined radios that are enabled through a flexible and adaptable hardware architecture,” Tebo said.

“That not only gives the Navy step function capability now but sets up the infrastructure and the architecture to allow us to continually evolve capability, as the threats are dynamic out there and they change,” she said. “We don’t know what they are, and the life of the Growler is very very long.”

The Block 2 upgrades will also contain some capabilities that Boeing has already developed for the latest Block 3 iteration of the Super Hornet, such as low-drag conformal fuel tanks. The company is also assessing whether to boost the Growler’s 7,500 hour service life as part of the retrofit process.
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Unread post09 May 2019, 20:29

Australia is developing a 'loyal wingie' program also :roll: (forget exact name) 8) so perhaps relevant to Oz Growlers also.
Boeing kicks off design work for EA-18G upgrade
09 May 2019 Garrett Reim

"...The Growler Block II will have an open systems architecture allowing faster software and hardware upgrades. That’s especially important to counter the USA’s adversaries, says Tebo. “It sets the Growler up for continued and rapid evolution over time,” she says. “The threats are evolving quickly, rapidly, and we’ve got to keep pace.”

In particular, the Growler Block II would have the computer power necessary to manage Loyal Wingman unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) that are being considered by the US Department of Defense as a means to cheaply expand US military’s fleet of combat aircraft.

The USN hasn’t decided on the number of Growlers it wants to upgrade, though it could potentially be the entire 160 aircraft fleet, says Boeing. Australia’s Growler fleet could be eligible for upgrades too. Should the service go forward with the retrofits it would field the first examples of the enhanced electronic warfare aircraft in 2025."

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... de-458041/

‘Loyal wingman’ should stimulate development of a sea-based UCAV [AUSTRALIA] 09 May 2019
https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/loyal ... ased-ucav/
‘Loyal Wingman’ to take Australia’s airpower into the next era
07 Mar 2019 Malcolm Davis

"...The Loyal Wingman can extend Australia’s air defence envelope much further north than would be possible using the F-35 alone. Imagine a swarm of Loyal Wingman UCAVs controlled by a four-ship formation of F-35s undertaking defensive counter-air tasks over the sea–air gap. The less stealthy UCAVs would be geographically located well away from the stealthy F-35s to avoid betraying their location, but close by in terms of being part of a resilient network. The F-35s in turn are networked to a Wedgetail to the rear. The UCAVs are the forward sensor in the ‘sensor to shooter’ link, but can also be a forward shooter, against an adversary equipped with long-range airpower, while the F-35s and Wedgetail can stay out of harm’s way.

Alternatively, in a role to support strike missions, the UCAVs could use their long-range ISR sensors and EW capabilities, and potentially precision-attack munitions, to identify and supress enemy integrated air defences. That would open up a path for the F-35s and fourth-generation aircraft like the Super Hornet and Growler to strike at high-value targets.

In both cases, long-range power projection and protection are of key importance. The Loyal Wingman could restore a significant amount of the long-range strike power the RAAF lost with the retirement of the F-111C in 2010. Although the Wingman is much smaller than the F-111C and carries a smaller payload, the emphasis on low-cost development means more UCAVs can be acquired. Local production will make it easier to keep on acquiring them as and when we need more. This will allow us to exploit combat mass and boost the potential of the RAAF’s future strike and air combat capability through swarming networks of autonomous shooters and sensors.

That’s a good move. One of the major challenges facing the RAAF is that by investing in very high-tech exquisite platforms like the F-35, which exploit technological overmatch against an opponent, the size of the air combat arm is constrained. It becomes a boutique force. In a future crisis against a major-power adversary, that would be a disadvantage—we can’t afford to lose any because we have too few fast jets in the sky. A larger force is better able to exploit Lanchester’s square law to the RAAF’s benefit. The Loyal Wingman begins that process of building a larger, more powerful RAAF, and that’s precisely the path Australia needs to take in preparing for the next war...."

BOING! graphic: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/wp-co ... ingman.jpg

Source: https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/loyal ... -next-era/
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Unread post10 May 2019, 17:55

I can't even imagine...

But I can play the imagination game too...

Imagine a 5.5gen F-35, with 25% more thrust, 30% more range, 100% more range with low drag conformal tanks, six or more, internally carried, highly advanced air-to-air missiles, and supercruise capability where the aircraft can cruise faster than the speed of sound...

[/sarc=off]

UCAV's have promise... but referencing some Lanchester's square law and implying that fewer F-35's will free up the money to buy enough stuff to confront a near peer is a fools argument. How are the UCAV's going to get to the fight? How far do they have to fly? How much gas will that require? Will they have to do it without tanker support? The article implies they might possibly be a shooter -- shooting what? Stingers? Sidewinder class missiles? AIM-120's -- that will require a large airframe -- more weight, mo' money.
Take an F-16, stir in A-7, dollop of F-117, gob of F-22, dash of F/A-18, sprinkle with AV-8B, stir well + bake. Whaddya get? F-35.
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Unread post22 May 2019, 22:41

Navy Awards Funding To Help Speed Up Growler Low-Band Jammer Development
22 May 2019 Ben Werner

"The Navy hopes to speed up the fielding of its new low-band jammer for the EA-18G Growler and has awarded two companies additional money to further mature their designs to avoid slowdowns and cost-increases that a similar jammer program faced.

The Navy recently awarded additional funds through a contract modification to the two teams tapped with creating demonstration units, to help them quicken the pace of developing next-generation jamming technology that meets both the Navy’s technological capability requirements and fits within the physical constraints of the Growler’s airframe design. The Navy wants to demonstration units ready for testing by June 2020, according to the Navy’s contract modification. The low-band portion of the overall Next Generation Jammer effort is expected to cost about $1 billion.

Northrop Grumman was awarded an additional $13.5 million for its efforts to create a low-band jamming pod, after an initial award of $35.2 million. L3 Technologies was awarded an additional $13.7 million to create its low-band jamming pod, after an initial award of $35.7 million....

...Dubbed the Next Generation Jammer – Low Band or NGJ-LB program by the Navy, the purpose of this program is to create a replacement for the aging ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) currently used on the Growlers for airborne electronic attack. The Growlers inherited the ALQ-99 system from the legacy aircraft EA-6B Prowler aircraft, now retired by the Navy.

The Navy split the acquisition of new jamming technology into three increments, based on the frequencies the system needs to block – high-band, mid-band and low-band. The Navy is also currently developing mid-band jamming capabilities for the Growler. However, this program hit some snags with the jamming pod structure design, resulting in a year-long delay and bumping up the overall program cost by $400 million, according to a Government Accountability Office report. The additional development money going to Northrop Grumman and L3 is meant to have a more mature design when demonstrator testing begins, in the hopes of avoiding the same discovery of design problems and subsequent delays the mid-band effort saw....

...“Raytheon’s proposal for the low-band pod was partially rejected as a result of increased drag over competing designs. These increases in drag have been reported to reduce the operational range of the EA-18G. The specific impact on range is classified,” according to a Congressional Research Service report released last week.

The challenge for the low-band pod is creating a system that can power-up and not overheats while also not interfering with the air intakes for the Growler’s engines. Any increase in drag also causes the aircraft to use more fuel, thus reducing its range and amount of time it can remain over a battlefield – the same issue that Raytheon encountered in its bid.

The demonstration tests of the Northrop Grumman and L3 designs, expected to occur in June 2020, will determine whether the Navy starts a follow-on development or a rapid prototype program, according to the GAO’s May 2019 Weapon Systems Annual Assessment [ https://www.gao.gov/assets/700/698933.pdf (9.4Mb) ]...." [2 PDF pages attached]

Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/05/22/navy-a ... evelopment
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NGJ Mid Band GAO 698933 2019 pp2.pdf
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Unread post23 May 2019, 04:19

“These increases in drag have been reported to reduce the operational range of the EA-18G.”

(Which is dreadful to begin with)
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Unread post23 May 2019, 04:20

Just a question to the cloud and not directed to you Spaz. Are we sharing in the development cost, so as to get input to the design? Or are we sitting back and being a FMS. If we are just a FMS, the development costs are worn by the US.I will watch out for articles to see if it's mentioned.
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Unread post23 May 2019, 06:10

quicksilver wrote:“These increases in drag have been reported to reduce the operational range of the EA-18G.”

(Which is dreadful to begin with)

The probability is high. That the fa-18 block 3, will filter down to a growler block 2 and have conformal fuel tanks on RAAF growlers. Possibly the entire FA-18 fleet, if we are to keep them longer.
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Unread post23 May 2019, 07:43

optimist wrote:Just a question to the cloud and not directed to you Spaz. Are we sharing in the development cost, so as to get input to the design? Or are we sitting back and being a FMS. If we are just a FMS, the development costs are worn by the US.I will watch out for articles to see if it's mentioned.

Just back from a long day OUT so later I'll get back to investigate. Oz is 'sharing' in the development of NGJ - how I don't recall right now. Look back in this thread (search) for a possible answer. Start with NEXT+GENERATION+JAMMER. Here is a good start from JUNE 2018: viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=396537&hilit=NEXT+GENERATION+JAMMER+Australia#p396537 [take the JUMP for more + PDF]

MORE LINKS just in this thread: [bestie fust]
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=363593&hilit=NEXT+GENERATION+JAMMER#p363593
&
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=380174&hilit=NEXT+GENERATION+JAMMER#p380174
&
viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=380105&hilit=NEXT+GENERATION+JAMMER#p380105
Putting the GRRR in Growler - RAAF to equip Growler for the future with AARGM & NGJ
July 2018 Max Blenkin

'...[Australia] is willing to share in the development costs, which are substantial. For a fifth-generation air force, Growler is a very important capability with nothing remotely comparable in service anywhere in the region.

In November 2017, Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies announced the signing of an MoU between Australia and the US for the development of the NGJ, specifically, Australia and the US Navy will jointly develop the ALQ-249(V)1 NGJ-MB capability.

“This is a very important milestone for both nations, one that took four years of communication and collaboration to successfully achieve,” AIRMSHL Davies said.

The MoU provides a framework for communication, coordination and cooperation between the US Navy and the RAAF during the engineering and manufacturing development phase. This followed an earlier announcement by Defence Minister Marise Payne at the Avalon Airshow in February 2017 that the government would invest A$250 million in this development. “As this is a rapidly evolving area, we will work in partnership with the US Navy to develop the next generation jamming capability, which will ensure that our aircraft remain at the technological forefront throughout their service life,” she said.

NGJ is a key element of the ADF’s AIR 5439 Phase 6 enhancing Growler Airborne Electronic Attack Capability (AEAC) project. The wide-ranging program has a nominal budget of $5-6 billion over a two-decade timeframe (2016-2035), and will ensure upgrades to the Australian Growler fleet mirror those of the US Navy...."

Source: Australian Aviation Magazine July 2018 No.361

Grrrr GROWLER A_A_2018_07 pp6.pdf: download/file.php?id=27630 {6 page PDF 0.5Mb)
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post23 May 2019, 13:24

That answers the question....It is going to cost us a bucket of money. The good news is we get a seat at the tables and all that that would involve.
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Unread post23 May 2019, 13:52

Every thing cost a bucket of money-where 'bucket' is a highly variable term-as long as there is NO HOLE IN THE BUCKET!
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Unread post23 May 2019, 22:53

Long article about similar topics as above for NGJ - interest in LOW BAND & WHY excerpt below - much more at the JUMP.
The Navy wants a jammer that will help when flying into enemy airspace
23 May 2019 Mark Pomerleau

"...Adversaries can both hide and attack certain systems within the entirety of the electromagnetic spectrum and to combat that threat the military needs systems that can operate the across that spectrum. National security experts have said the spectrum is too expansive for a single pod to handle, which results in high, mid and low pods.

Navy budget documents released in March call for $6.2 million in fiscal year 2020 for mid band from the procurement budget with $524.2 million coming from the research and development budget. Additionally, over the next five years, the Navy plans to spend $4.8 billion for procurement and $3.9 billion in R&D for mid band projects.

Northrop — whose team consists of Harris, Comtech PST and L3 — were selected to separately demonstrate solutions for the low band to help the Navy refine requirements for the final program and reduce risk. Each were awarded a 20-month contract in October 2018.

Funding for the high band program does not appear in the Navy’s fiscal 2020 budget documents.

What’s next for low band?
According to budget documents, the Navy requested $111 million for low band research and development funds in fiscal 2020 and a total of $3.4 billion over the next five years. Today, the military has identified potential targets that exist within certain portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. But as adversaries become more sophisticated, the military has to adjust its approach for exploiting these vulnerabilities.

“We’ve all been writing and reading about how traditional radar targets, communication targets, network targets, they’re all collapsing into one,” John Thompson, director of business development for airborne C4ISR at Northrop Grumman, told C4ISRNET in a February interview. “As we move into this networked world, that becomes more and more ways for enemy forces to attack, opposing forces to attack each other and to defend these same areas or vulnerabilities back and forth.”

Thompson said Northrop Grumman hopes to help the military find new ways to attack these targets. The low end of the spectrum, which the low band jammer addresses, is of interest because of the intersection of networks, communication devices and radars within it, he said. These systems have more capability against stealth-shaped airframes, Thompson said.

As a standoff jammer, the Growler’s role is to attack radars and other systems that can detect or thwart friendly aircraft and systems, allowing them to penetrate enemy airspace. While the Growler has the reputation of being a “loud” jammer, meaning it used brute force rather than a more stealthy approach, which can alert enemies to its presence, Thompson noted that in the future there will be more nuanced approaches to jamming rather than just shoving raw jamming power toward a radar. In finding new ways of jamming, Thompson said, maybe the individual networks and communication devices that make it up can be isolated and jammed creating confusion.

Joint airborne electronic attack… [more at the jump]

Source: https://www.c4isrnet.com/electronic-war ... -airspace/
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post27 May 2019, 16:12

U.S. Navy To Adapt EA-18G To Future Of Agile Emitters [LOTS of words NOT excerpted below so best - you know]
21 May 2019 Steve Trimble
» Waveform-hopping radars drive EA-18G upgrades
» Requirements emerge for low-band receiver and machine-learning
» Navy plan does not include new aircraft production


"...the EA-18G could soon face adversary radars that have capabilities far beyond anything experienced by the EA-6B in its four-decade career. The threat is posed by a new breed of radars that can sense the presence of the EA-18G’s jammers and adapt. By shifting to different waveforms and signal-processing techniques, it may be possible to mitigate the transmission interference caused by the EA-18G’s jammers. In keeping with the cat-and-mouse game of electronic combat, the latest countermeasure swiftly inspires a response.... [then stuff about 'DASH X']

...In the final appropriations bill for fiscal 2019, lawmakers slipped in an extra $95.3 million for the EA-18G, with the directive to transition a small but critical science and technology program launched by the Office of Naval Research five years earlier into operational service. This “Cognitive Electronic Warfare capability” would be identified in the Navy’s latest budget justification documents released in March as the official “start to EA-18G [Block] II modernization.”

“It is about adaptive and distributed processing, with big computers to process and react to the threats,” Tebo says. “All of this is accomplished through software-defined radios that are enabled through a flexible and adaptable hardware architecture. That not only gives the Navy step-function capability now, it allows us to continue to evolve the capability.”

The full details of the EA-18G Block II configuration are still being defined.... But the broad outlines of the upgrades are already clear: improved sensors feeding data to new processors that are running software with machine-learning algorithms to produce adaptive techniques for the previously announced Next-Generation Jammers now in development. Underlying the upgrades specifically for the EA-18G are a host of improvements that are in development for the F/A-18E/F Block III. These include new 10 X 19-in. large area displays in cockpit stations as well as conformal fuel tanks.... [then a lot of stuff with acronyms galore - best read it all with sauce]

...Instead of the original plan to buy 90 aircraft to support the Navy’s carrier air wings alone, the Navy bought 160 to also support the land-based airborne electronic-attack mission abandoned by the Air Force.

So far, the Navy has no interest in buying any more aircraft, Tebo says. The EA-18G Block II strategy calls for retrofitting either a portion or all of the 160 aircraft that will be delivered by July. Of course, Boeing is open to selling more EA-18Gs to the Navy if the opportunity arises. “The design [of the upgrade package] is not precluding new production,” Tebo says.

As one of the Navy’s youngest fleets—the average service life remaining on 156 aircraft delivered through March 2019 was 5,886 flight hours, according to the Navy—the EA-18G is unlikely to require the service-life extension program mandated for the F/A-18E/F fleet, although an assessment is still ongoing, Tebo adds.

But it is also not clear how long the EA-18G will fit into the Navy’s fleet. An influential study released earlier this year by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Studies called for replacing the EA-18G in the carrier air wing within 20 years. “Its reliance on stand-off effects from outside the range of enemy air defenses is likely unsustainable in the face of improving passive sensors and the increasing range of surface-to-air missiles,” the CSBA report concluded. The think tank recommended transferring the EA-18G’s mission system to a future UCAV."

Graphic: "Boeing’s concept image of the EA-18G Block II pictures new conformal fuel tanks inherited from the F/A-18E/F Block III development program, but the Navy’s requirements also include a new dedicated receiver and Next-Generation Jammer pods. Credit: Boeing" https://aviationweek.com/site-files/avi ... Boeing.jpg


Source: https://aviationweek.com/electronic-war ... e-emitters
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RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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