Congested.. Contested.. Dynamic.. Battlespace
Australia’s first two EA-18G ‘Growler’ Airborne Electronic Attack aircraft during their delivery flight from the United States. (Defence)
Fighting in the Electromagnetic Spectrum with the EA-18G ‘Growler
The increasing acknowledgement of the Electromagnetic Spectrum as a warfighting domain, similar to Air, Land, Sea or Space, points the way to the future of warfare, where players seek to dominate that space in order to deny, disadvantage or confuse an enemy. Electronic Warfare is not new of course, being first practised on a large scale during the Second World War, but the domain is becoming exponentially more congested, contested and dynamic as more bandwidth is taken up by contemporary communications systems and rapidly-evolving technology can often confer a quick and decisive (if only temporary) advantage.
Against this backdrop, the Royal Australian Air Force’s Boeing EA-18G Growler Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) capability has been quietly building mass and competency as it works towards Final Operational Capability (FOC) in the 2022 timeframe. Somewhat overshadowed (in the public arena at least) by the arrival of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, the Growler nevertheless represents an integral part of the Chief of Air Force’s vision for a 5th generation, networked force and it is a capability which will only increase in importance in years to come. Having an aircraft to perform the airborne electronic attack role is (relatively speaking of course) the easy part. Establishing protocols and pathways which will allow Growler and other ADF Electronic Warfare assets the agility and adaptability to meet rapidly emerging threats is another important dimension, as is the establishment of effective and adaptive training ranges.
Growler Capability The RAAF’s Growler capability roadmap had set the Initial Operational Capability (IOC) milestone for mid-2018 and, although it has not yet been formally announced, Director of Capability at Headquarters Air Command, Group Captain Tim Churchill says all …read more
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