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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.