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The Boeing Co., of Wichita, Kan., is being awarded a cost plus fixed fee contract for $14,983,252. This action will accomplish aircraft integration system engineering studies to support development of critical technologies required to enable airborne stand-off electronic attack. The technologies include low-band, high-power transmitting phased arrays, mid-band high-power transmitting phased arrays, and advanced exciters. At this time $4,050,000 has been obligated. AFRL/PKSE, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8650-08-C-1304).
Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) Capabilities
Full Spectrum: The EA-18G's ALQ-218 wideband receiver combined with the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System will be effective against any surface-to-air threat.
Precision Airborne Electronic Attack: Selective-reactive technology enables the EA-18G to rapidly sense and locate threats with a significantly higher degree of accuracy than was previously possible. This improved accuracy enables greater concentration of energy against threats.
Advanced Communication Countermeasures: Its modular Communication Countermeasure Set enables the EA-18G to counter a wide range of communication systems and is readily adaptable to an ever-changing threat spectrum.
Interference Cancellation System (INCANS): INCANS dramatically enhances aircrew situational awareness by enabling uninterrupted communications during jamming operations.
The US Air Force has revived a plan to transform a portion of the Boeing B-52 bomber fleet into long-range, radar-jamming platforms, formally launching a five-year study phase on 23 June.
The revival comes nearly three years after the USAF was forced to cancel the B-52 standoff jammer system (SOJS) programme after cost estimates ballooned seven-fold to $7 billion. The delay has shifted the operational debut of the new jammer fleet at least four years to 2018.
The new programme seeks to avoid seeks to hold overall costs to about $3 billion or $4 billion by scaling back the jamming requirements and reducing the number of B-52s involved.
The SOJS programme was cancelled after requirements grew to target all emitter threats in the low and middle bands of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Whereas, the new programme continues to focus on the early warning radars that fall mostly in the low band, but is aimed at only a subset of the potential threats in the middle band, said Jeff Weis, Boeing's programme manager for airborne electronic attack technology maturation.
The numbers of B-52s expected to be modified has shrunk from the entire bomber force to 34 aircraft, Weis said. Also, the USAF also plans to buy only 24 sets of wingtip pods during the programme, he added, so only two dozen B-52s would be able to perform the mission at any one time.
Australia has begun a multi-year program to explore the boundaries of the new RF and processor technology through a series of EW trials based on the Aerosonde mini-UAV. The initial trials conducted to-date have confirmed the viability of the Aerosonde as a platform capable of performing a wide range of EW functions. The ability to deploy these payloads for flight durations in excess of 24 hours at operational ranges over 1500km has raised considerable interest at the highest levels of the Australian Defence Force.