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Boeing plans Hornet/Growler hybrid

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posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 06:04 PM
Boeing is planning to market a hybrid F-18E/F/EA-18. It would be an E/F airframe, with Growler signal detection capabilities. It would mount the ALQ-218, but loses the ALQ-99. It would also have room to eventually add on a long range IRST, and new air-to-air modes for airborne systems.

Boeing is formulating a concept for a hybrid variant of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet equipped with the electronic signal detection capabilities of the EA-18G Growler as it seeks to attract orders for new aircraft and upgrades to older models.

The resulting aircraft would resemble an E/A-18G that lacks ALQ-99 jamming pods for electronic attack, preserves the ALQ-218 electronic receiver and adds weapons now only carried by the F/A-18E/F, says Boeing vice-president Mike Gibbons.

“That hybrid just starts with the simple notion of take the sensor suite of the Growler and move it to a basically strike platform and then you grow that platform to take advantage of the fact that you can now see anybody that’s emitting,” Gibbons says.

The growth capabilities would be the addition of a long-range infrared search and track sensor and new air-to-air tracking modes for airborne systems.

posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 07:13 PM
isnt the FA-18 a McDonnell Douglas plane?

how did Boeing get to do anything with this airframe?

posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 07:14 PM
a reply to: okamitengu

Boeing bought them back in 1997.

posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 07:30 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

well, that explains it then.

posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 08:51 PM
a reply to: Zaphod58

I need a little insight into why this is an important development. It sounds like it may be really cool but I need some more info as someone who is not part of the avaition industry.

posted on Jun, 25 2014 @ 09:01 PM
a reply to: lostbook

Right now, you have the F/A-18 Hornet that carries bombs, and is a strike aircraft, but has a very limited electronic warfare capability.

You also have the E/A-18G Growler, which is an F-18 airframe, but is limited in the weapons that it can carry and is designed as an electronic warfare aircraft (hence the E designation).

By building a hybrid aircraft, you get a platform that can carry air to ground weaponry, as well as have a decent self protection ability with electronic warfare. You've just cut your strike package in half, as now you have some of them carrying a mix of weapons, with some to go after air defense sites, as well as air to ground weapons.

Right now, you have the strike package, and you have a separate package to go after the air defenses, which means you have to have a huge package.

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