USAF vs USN air doctrine(why Growlers?)

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armedupdate

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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 11:37

USN and Boeing keep on saying advertise that the F-35 will not be able to go into IADs without the help of Growlers. This makes sense with the rise of low frequency radars which of course cannot provide fire control but still can spot the F-35 from longer distances than X-band. F-35 jams only in X-band(without NGJ) so its reasonable for the USN to buy Growlers. People like Admiral Greenert stress that infrared sensors may also spot stealth making it "overrated."

However, USAF officals like General Hostage say that F-22s and F-35s are the only thing needed to go into contested environments without the help of Growlers.

Which doctrine is better? Do the USN depend on the Growler since EC-130 cannot take off from carriers? Or is it USAF has MALD-J? Or just different doctrines?
Last edited by armedupdate on 09 Jan 2016, 21:34, edited 1 time in total.
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madrat

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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 16:33

The USAF culture is buy the best toys then fix shortcomings after the facts. The USN culture is more big picture and pragmatic. The USN is always concerned with keeping attrition rates to near zero whereas the USAF had sustainable attrition rate goals. So it's more about culture.
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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 21:24

armedupdate wrote:USN and Boeing keep on saying advertise that the will not be able to go into IADs without the help of Growlers.


Boeing yes, USN leadership, no.

Sources?
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armedupdate

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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 21:33

SpudmanWP wrote:
armedupdate wrote:USN and Boeing keep on saying advertise that the will not be able to go into IADs without the help of Growlers.


Boeing yes, USN leadership, no.

Sources?

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/04/f-35 ... -100-more/
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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 22:19

If he truly believed that then he would have not put Growlers on the "UnFunded" priority list.

The fact is the there are cliques within every service that would like to do things differently. Let them get their hands on the F-35 and play with it a while before making bold statements like they "need" Growlers for their F-35s. It's more likely that they need the Growlers just to keep the Super Hornets alive.
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durahawk

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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 23:05

The Growler, as currently configured with the ALQ-99, can cause electromagnetic interference with AESA radars, among a host of other problems. To me, it sounds like the Air Force has some valid concerns operating them alongside 5th generation VLO platforms.
In addition, during tests, electromagnetic interference in some frequency bands from the EA-18G’s airborne electronic attack (AEA) suite degraded active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar performance. The Navy operational testers did not consider this a deficiency...

http://www.gao.gov/assets/310/302379.pdf

Also, Next Generation Jammer pod integration onto the F-35 is a definite possibility, it's a matter of who wants to picks up the tab for the R&D. The short of it though is that the EA-18G desperately needs the NGJ to remain relevant and the F-35 does not. The Navy allocated funds accordingly.
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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 23:24

SpudmanWP wrote:If he truly believed that then he would have not put Growlers on the "UnFunded" priority list.

The fact is the there are cliques within every service that would like to do things differently. Let them get their hands on the F-35 and play with it a while before making bold statements like they "need" Growlers for their F-35s. It's more likely that they need the Growlers just to keep the Super Hornets alive.


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Unread post09 Jan 2016, 23:31

durahawk wrote:The Growler, as currently configured with the ALQ-99, can cause electromagnetic interference with AESA radars, among a host of other problems. To me, it sounds like the Air Force has some valid concerns operating them alongside 5th generation VLO platforms.
In addition, during tests, electromagnetic interference in some frequency bands from the EA-18G’s airborne electronic attack (AEA) suite degraded active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar performance. The Navy operational testers did not consider this a deficiency...

http://www.gao.gov/assets/310/302379.pdf

Also, Next Generation Jammer pod integration onto the F-35 is a definite possibility, it's a matter of who wants to picks up the tab for the R&D. The short of it though is that the EA-18G desperately needs the NGJ to remain relevant and the F-35 does not. The Navy allocated funds accordingly.


Everyone seems to have lost sight of the fact that NGJ -- on any operational platform -- does not exist. Growler is a re-packaged ICAP III Prowler. Also, any emitter, on any jet is going to affect the performance of any passive detection system (in-band) in proximity to the emitter. The closer the proximity, the greater the effect. This is not new, and not unique to AESAs.
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Unread post10 Jan 2016, 00:09

While low frequency radars are more likely to detect the presence of LO aircraft, targeting/fire control radars and RF missile seekers employ higher frequencies that LO is designed to frustrate. Break any link in the kill-chain and deny the kill.
The AF also believes in the more selective and precise application of jamming via onboard AESA sets and offboard capabilities eg. MALD-J. You want maximum SA of enemy threats when going up against an IADS and having a Growler screw up your sensors is not a good thing. Hence Gen. Hostage's very public comment re not wanting Growlers anywhere near his 5Gen force at the start of conflict.
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Unread post10 Jan 2016, 02:23

Does the Navy lack MALD-J? Also is the EC-130H for the Air Force an essential part of the strike package or not?
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Unread post10 Jan 2016, 03:56

armedupdate wrote:Does the Navy lack MALD-J? Also is the EC-130H for the Air Force an essential part of the strike package or not?


Mission wise, EC-130 and EA-18G (or EA-6B) are quite different and one is not a substitute for the other.
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Unread post11 Jan 2016, 07:47

durahawk wrote:The Growler, as currently configured with the ALQ-99, can cause electromagnetic interference with AESA radars, among a host of other problems. To me, it sounds like the Air Force has some valid concerns operating them alongside 5th generation VLO platforms.
In addition, during tests, electromagnetic interference in some frequency bands from the EA-18G’s airborne electronic attack (AEA) suite degraded active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar performance. The Navy operational testers did not consider this a deficiency...

http://www.gao.gov/assets/310/302379.pdf

Also, Next Generation Jammer pod integration onto the F-35 is a definite possibility, it's a matter of who wants to picks up the tab for the R&D. The short of it though is that the EA-18G desperately needs the NGJ to remain relevant and the F-35 does not. The Navy allocated funds accordingly.

That is an old report. There were updates made to mitigate the interference issues. More importantly, the EA-18G is not a F/A-18 with an extra pod, and fitting a NGJ to a F-35 won't make it into a comparable EA aircraft. Also, the ALQ-99 pods have updated modules in them, and are not the same as the ALQ-99 from 10 years ago.

The F-35 won't have AGM-88 HARM capability anytime soon, and isn't wired for ALQ-218 type receiver pods on the wingtip. The F-35 would need significant upgrades to use a NGJ effectively, and match the EA-18G capabilities.
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Unread post11 Jan 2016, 17:21

The F-35 does not need the ALQ-218 since it has the ASQ-239 'Barracuda' ESM.

The F-35 also contains an empty ICP bay in the tail that could be used to contain any ICP upgrades needed to expand the processing power needed for managing all the new data. This assumes that the normal ICP is not upgraded at the same time NGJ functionality is added.
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Unread post11 Jan 2016, 21:15

SpudmanWP wrote:The F-35 does not need the ALQ-218 since it has the ASQ-239 'Barracuda' ESM.

The F-35 also contains an empty ICP bay in the tail that could be used to contain any ICP upgrades needed to expand the processing power needed for managing all the new data. This assumes that the normal ICP is not upgraded at the same time NGJ functionality is added.

The ALQ-218 has multi-band and other capabilities the ASQ-239 isn't intended for. Contrary to popular belief, The ALQ-218(V)2 is not just EW receiver pods but also signal processing unit specifically intended for jamming. The EW signal processing unit, and the mission management interface require considerable development, and that couldn't easily be ported to the F-35.

Obviously, the F-35 ICP will be upgraded in capability during the development, and possibly before full operating capability is reached. My understanding is the ASQ-239 will only have basic capability (RWR) at USN IOC. EW/EA/AESA software(firmware) is one of the toughest areas of avionics development.

I'm not saying an upgraded ASQ-239/ICP couldn't do the role of the ALQ-218 in the Growler, just that the F-35 as baseline specified couldn't do the role without additional hardware and software upgrades that are not going to be operational on the F-35 anytime soon. It would take a major budget boost to the JSF program to make that happen.

This may be philosophical as well as practical, but there is concerns about EA missions flown from single seat fighters, especially with the mission system interface (wide touch screen) of the F-35. There is a lot of "heads down" time in operating an EA aircraft, and they may have to add a keypad interface for the F-35 to effectively use an EA package.

With the latest budget, as well as more F-35s, the NGJ is funded, plus additional EA-18Gs have been included. This is likely pragmatic as the EA-6B airframe is being retired from the fleet, and the ALQ-99 chassis has aerodynamic performance limitations. The decision to buy more EA-18Gs is based on the needs of the Navy in the next 5-10 years.
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Unread post11 Jan 2016, 21:51

neurotech wrote:The ALQ-218 has multi-band and other capabilities the ASQ-239 isn't intended for.

...My understanding is the ASQ-239 will only have basic capability (RWR) at USN IOC.

The ASQ-239 is multiband. Not only that, but the CNI is software-based which allows it to adapt to it's environment better then the Growler. In fact, it can single-ship geolocate while the current Growler cannot.

The EW signal processing unit, and the mission management interface require considerable development, and that couldn't easily be ported to the F-35.

It's just software. If it's already been written for the Growler then it's even easier to get it into the F-35, especially considering the F-35's Open/Middleware based architecture.
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