6 RAAF Supers to Growlers (Fewer F-35s?)

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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spazsinbad

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Unread post31 Mar 2013, 19:51

Not having other store limitation information (although it may be available IF found) here is the clean aircraft limits (making the colour graphic on previous page [repeated below] more relevant).

4.1.3 Airspeed Limitations. The airspeed limitations for the basic aircraft (with or without empty pylons) in smooth or moderately turbulent air with the landing gear retracted and flaps in AUTO are 650 KCAS at and below 18,000 feet, and 700 KCAS/2.0 IMN (whichever is less) above 18,000 feet, as shown in figure 4-2.....

....4.2 EXTERNAL STORES LIMITATIONS
The NTRP 3-22.4-EA-18G (EA-18G Unclassified NATIP) defines the stores limitations for all EA-18G authorized suspension equipment and external stores, including external fuel tanks.

http://www.f-16.net/attachments/f_18egs ... ir_766.gif [original from: http://defense-update.com/20120907_ausi_growlers.html ]

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Unread post31 Mar 2013, 20:10

Nope - no can find 'store limit' info so here is some consolation info:

EA-18G Growler
"Description
The EA-18G Growler is a variant of the combat-proven F/A-18F Super Hornet Block II, and will fly the airborne electronic attack mission. The EA-18G combines the capability of the combat-proven Super Hornet with the latest AEA avionics suite evolved from the Improved Capability III (ICAP III) system. The EA-18G’s vast array of sensors and weapons provides the warfighter with a lethal and survivable weapon system to counter current and emerging threats.

Capabilities
Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses: The EA-18G will counter enemy air defenses using both reactive and pre-emptive jamming techniques.
Stand-off and Escort Jamming: The EA-18G will be highly effective in the traditional stand-off jamming mission, but with the speed and agility of a Super Hornet, it will also be effective in the escort role.
Non-Traditional Electronic Attack: Dramatically enhanced situational awareness and uninterrupted communications will enable the EA-18G to achieve a higher degree of integration with ground operations than has been previously achievable.
Self-protect and Time-Critical Strike Support: With its Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, digital data links and air-to-air missiles, the EA-18G will have self-protection capability and will also be effective for target identification and prosecution.
Growth: High commonality with the F/A-18E/F, nine available weapon stations and modern avionics enable cost-effective synergistic growth for both aircraft, setting the stage for continuous capability enhancement.

Specifications
Crew: Two
Length: 60 ft 1.25 in (18.31 m)
Wingspan: 44 ft 8.5 in (13.62 m) (including wingtip-mounted pods)
Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
Wing area: 500 ft² (46.5 m²)
Empty weight: 33,094 lb (15,011 kg)
Loaded weight: 48,000 lb (21,772 kg) (recovery weight)
Max takeoff weight: 66,000 lb (29,964 kg)
Powerplant: 2× General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans
Dry thrust: 14,000 lbf (62.3 kN) each"

http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fu ... 0A1B32BEE9

http://www.navair.navy.mil/img/uploads/ ... g%2041.jpg
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Unread post31 Mar 2013, 20:21

Australian Growler Crews Have A Heavy Workload Ahead 07 Sep 2012 Richard_Dudley [colour graphic source on previous page & above - repeated]
"...The Growler shares 90 percent commonality with the Super Hornet and has a similar flight performance giving it the ability to deliver escort jamming along with more traditional standoff jamming. Because of its flight characteristics, the Growler is expected to accompany F/A-18s throughout the duration of assigned attack missions.

The Super Hornet and the Growler have a shared airframe; both carry the Raytheon AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar and the AN/AYK-22 stores management system. Most of the Growler’s airborne electronic attack components are housed in the space reserved for the 20 millimeter gun mounted in the Super Hornets and on the wingtip rails.

The wingtip rails are designed to carry AN/ALQ-218 wideband receivers. The nine external hardpoints can accommodate additional weapons or jamming pods to include as many as five ALQ-99 high and low-band tactical jamming pods. A typical combat load would also include two AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) or AGM-88 HARM (High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile) missiles. The Growler is also equipped with the INCAS Interference Cancellation system that makes it possible for Growler crews to retain voice communication while actively jamming enemy communications, a capability not available on the EA-6B Prowlers....

...The report also determined that the addition of external jamming pods, weapons, and external fuel tanks reduced the aircraft’s speed to the point where it might be unable to keep pace with the strike aircraft it was designed to support...."

http://defense-update.com/20120907_ausi_growlers.html

As always BEST to go read the entire article at URL above.
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Unread post01 Apr 2013, 17:36

count_to_10 wrote:From the image, it looks like the outer hard points are blocking the jammers. How does that work?


The emitting antennae are located in the ventral area of the pod, and are steerable to some extent.
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Unread post03 May 2013, 01:01

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spazsinbad

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Unread post03 May 2013, 01:14

Same info here posted earlier - stroll down: http://www.f-16.net/f-16_forum_viewtopi ... rt-15.html

Right now 1000 East Oz Time the OzDefMin is speaking so we will know soon enough.
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Unread post03 May 2013, 01:28

As of 10 minutes ago..

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/201 ... e-released

Defence to get new jets, patrol boats
10:08am May 3, 2013

Australia will buy an additional 12 Super Hornet combat aircraft and replace the Navy's hard-working patrol boat fleet.

The 2013 Defence White Paper, released on Friday, also says the federal government remains committed to the advanced Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter due to enter service around 2020.

But as a hedging strategy, the RAAF will acquire 12 additional Super Hornets with potent electronic warfare Growler technology taking its fleet to 36.
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Unread post03 May 2013, 01:33

Yep same info here (if worded 'different') :-)

China still the key to future Defence strategy 03 May 2013 By Eliza Borello
"...The key spending changes include the purchase of 12 EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft, which are basically F/A-18 Super Hornets fitted with technology capable of scrambling enemy aircraft systems.

"The cost of this purchase is estimated at around $1.5 billion over the next four years, and will be contained in the forthcoming budget and included in Defence's four-year forward estimates," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said as she unveiled the white paper at a Canberra RAAF base today.

Australia already has 24 Super Hornets, and in December the Government announced it was asking the US government for a quote for another 24.

At that stage one plan being considered was fitting the extra Super Hornets with Growler technology, but purchasing 12 jets already fitted with it means the existing fleet does not have to be suspended because of a refit.

The new Growlers are an attempt to avoid an air capability gap caused by the delays in rolling out the Joint Strike Fighter program, which has been plagued with delays, technical problems and cost blow-outs.

The Government says the Joint Strike Fighter program will proceed on its current schedule...."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-03/r ... er/4667084
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Unread post03 May 2013, 01:55

So this should put the RAAF in a position to retire the 24SHs at the appropriate time, retain the 12 Growlers and derive maximum benefit from operating and sustaining a single leading-edge 5G fighter platform that will be fully interoperable with those of it's friends and allies.. nice.
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Unread post03 May 2013, 02:00

OR the already wired original Supers (or some of them) could be upgraded to Growler status at some point to increase GROWLing numbers?
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Unread post03 May 2013, 03:49

spazsinbad wrote:OR the already wired original Supers (or some of them) could be upgraded to Growler status at some point to increase GROWLing numbers?

That too.. or, down the road, the F 35's onboard EW capabilities will be further enhanced, perhaps even with some NGJ tech, Moore's Law and stuff.. crystal ball doesn't see that far ahead though :D just gratified that the F-35 prospects Down Under appear to have sorted themselves out quite nicely.
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Unread post03 May 2013, 03:55

popcorn wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:OR the already wired original Supers (or some of them) could be upgraded to Growler status at some point to increase GROWLing numbers?

That too.. or, down the road, the F 35's onboard EW capabilities will be further enhanced, perhaps even with some NGJ tech, Moore's Law and stuff.. crystal ball doesn't see that far ahead though :D just gratified that the F-35 prospects Down Under appear to have sorted themselves out quite nicely.


APA will be pissed!
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Unread post03 May 2013, 06:47

@popcorn: Enhanced, yes. "Better" is debatable. The problem for the F-35 EW is time and money. Adding a few low RCS NGJ pods for low-band power is pretty straight forward hardware wise, assuming they are self-powered (RAT or APU). The problem is mission software integration. That is why the EA-18 is still the leading EA platform in the US Navy, going forward along side the F-35.

As I've previously stated, the ICP architecture on the F-35 isn't really optimal. It's just a couple PowerPC processors. DSP is actually quite limited with that. The EA-18 uses programmable FPGA chips to augment the PowerPC processors. The ICP boards themselves are not insanely expensive, and so swapping them out with quad core PowerPC with DSP Acceleration versions that are backward compatible would be pretty easy, when the time comes.

Another little detail, each APG-81 AESA element is capable of less than 5W transmit peak power, and there is only 1200 modules in the whole array, so its not really a "software" limit on the baseline jet.
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Unread post03 May 2013, 09:03

We shall see how the tech evolves. I see a need for a LO platform that can penetrate into hostile airspace then open it's EW bag of tricks.. Maybe it may be something based on a F-35 or maybe something unmanned..
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Unread post03 May 2013, 10:21

meatshield wrote:
popcorn wrote:
spazsinbad wrote:OR the already wired original Supers (or some of them) could be upgraded to Growler status at some point to increase GROWLing numbers?

That too.. or, down the road, the F 35's onboard EW capabilities will be further enhanced, perhaps even with some NGJ tech, Moore's Law and stuff.. crystal ball doesn't see that far ahead though :D just gratified that the F-35 prospects Down Under appear to have sorted themselves out quite nicely.


APA will be pissed!


That's a nice added bonus... :lol:
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