Saturday, June 24, 2017

Electronic Warfare is now considered important by the Pentagon...another sign more Growlers are on the way!

via Breaking Defense.
After two decades of neglect, electronic warfare is — slowly — on the mend, the Pentagon’s Deputy Director for EW said yesterday. That includes a growing budget, a new (classified) strategy from the Office of the Secretary of Defense, increased interest from the leaders of all four armed services, and, most immediately, an ongoing joint study of future jamming aircraft.

“Give me about a month, maybe two,” and he’ll have a lot more clarity on what’s called the Analysis of Alternatives for Joint Airborne Electronic Attack, William Conley told the Air Force Association’s Mitchell Institute.
Then this.
 For its own investments, the Air Force bet on stealth aircraft, the F-22 and F-35, that it deemed so undetectable they wouldn’t need Navy EW airplanes jamming enemy radar on their behalf, as one 4-star told Colin as recently as 2014.

As adversaries grow more electronically sophisticated, however, the Air Force has come round and started studying what it calls Penetrating Electronic Attack. PEA might be a dedicated manned aircraft unto itself like the old EF-111, a specialized variant of the future fighter known as Penetrating Counter-Air, a drone, or a complex mix of capabilities installed on different airframes. Much is classified, much is still to be determined.
Finally this.
 In other words: The brass realize that if you don’t have electronic warfare — both to protect your own networks, sensors, and communications, and to disrupt the enemy’s — you’re probably dead.
Story here. 

Make sure you read the whole thing but it left out a few important points...

*  The Pentagon has already done a study to determine if more Growlers were needed to meet the demands of the force.  I believe (not sure) that it decided it did which is why initially more Growlers were ordered.

*  The USAF has all but given up on the mission.  I know that they initially assigned Electronic Warfare Officers to EA-6B squadrons but I don't believe that practice has continued.

*  The USMC has stated that the F-35 will conduct the Electronic Attack mission with its AESA array.  That was obviously wishful thinking.  If that was the solution then all the Super Hornets, Updated F-15/F-16s with AESA arrays would be able to fulfill the need.  This story is telling.  The AESA might have attack capabilities but not to the extent that some hoped a few years ago.

*  The outlook for the Growler/Super Hornet combo continues to get brighter. With every grounding of the F-35 despite it being "in limited service" and new reports of needing capabilities NOW that the F-35 probably won't have till 2030 at the earliest mean that Boeing Defense stock is seriously undervalued.

Electronic Attack.

This is where we are without a doubt behind our potential foes.

What I find amazing is that the Marine Corps and Army are talking about inserting tactical Cyber Warriors at the Squad level but seem to be ignoring EA at the Battalion and higher.

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