JED - December 2015 - 58

Jamming Down

How the RAAF is Shaping

E
By John Knowles

The Journal of Electronic Defense | December 2015

58

Earlier this year, the Royal Australian
Air Force (RAAF) introduced Plan Jericho, its vision to "develop a future force
that is agile and adaptive, fully immersed in the information age, and truly joint." The document discusses new
capabilities, such as the MQ-4C Triton
UAV, the P-8A Poseidon, the F-35 Lightening II and the EA-18G Growler, which
the RAAF will introduce into service
over the coming years. These systems
truly represent a new generation of air
power for the RAAF.
What Plan Jericho communicates
most effectively, however, is that the
entire RAAF enterprise - its systems,
operations, training, simulation, acquisition, sustainment and personnel - must
evolve together. "In order to exploit our
new capabilities and win in challenging
operating environments," wrote Air Marshall Geoff Brown in his introduction,
"we need to transform ourselves into an
integrated, networked force. A force with
the freedom of action in the air, space,
electromagnetic and cyber domains required to deliver air power for Australia's
interests, in all operating environments."
In terms of the electromagnetic domain,
the RAAF's most important program is
the EA-18G Growler. Like Plan Jericho,
the Growler program is driving transformation of electronic warfare (EW) systems, operations, training, simulation,
acquisition, sustainment and personnel.
On the face of it, the RAAF is buying
a fleet of EA-18G Growlers, which will be
equipped with the ALQ-218 electronic
support measures (ESM) system, the
ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS)
and AGM-8E Advanced Anti-Radiation
Guided Missiles. In reality, it is creat-

ing an airborne electronic attack (AEA)
program that comprises much more than
just the Growler.

BEGINNINGS
The Australian Government has a
long history of partnering with the US
on EW programs. But when the RAAF
began to seriously consider buying support jamming aircraft in the mid-2000s,
it was something of a surprise to many
in the EW community. In 2006, with an
aging fleet of F/A-18AM/BM aircraft,
pending retirement of its F-111s and
delays in the F-35 program, the RAAF
opted to buy 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets
to help fill its looming fighter gap. In
2008, while these Super Hornets were
still in production at Boeing's manufacturing facility in St. Louis, MO, the
Australian Government approved a
"production modification" to wire the
last 12 aircraft in this contract to the
EA-18G configuration. In essence, the
aircraft were made "Growler ready,"
should the RAAF decide to pursue an
AEA capability and equip them with
EA-18G cockpits and avionics, the ALQ218 ESM system and the ALQ-99.
In mid-2012, the Australian Government committed to buying 12 EA-18Gs.
However, there was an interesting twist
in its plans. That same year, the Australian Department of Defence (DOD)
completed an Air Combat Capability
Transition review, which determined
that the RAAF should increase its Super
Hornet buy. The result of this review
was a DOD decision in April 2013 to buy
12 new-build EA-18G aircraft instead of
completing the conversion of the 12 F/A18Fs into EA-18Gs. The upshot is that the

RAAF is buying 12 Growlers, and it also
operates 12 F/A-18Fs that are "Growler
ready" and can be easily converted into
Growlers in the future.

SYNERGY
Establishing an EA-18G program
enabled the RAAF to develop an AEA
program that exploits many synergies
within the RAAF and with the US Navy.
While their are certainly significant
differences between F/A-18F and the EA18G aircraft, from a training, mainte-



JED - December 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - December 2015

The View from Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
Letters
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
2015 AOC Award Winners
SIGINT on the Border
Jamming Down Under
Commercial Airliners: Still Vulnerable to MANPADS
New Products
Threat Monitor
EW 101
Report from the 2015 AOC Pacific Conference
Report from the 2015 AOC CEMA Conference
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - December 2015 - cover1
JED - December 2015 - cover2
JED - December 2015 - igc
JED - December 2015 - OGC
JED - December 2015 - 3
JED - December 2015 - 4
JED - December 2015 - 5
JED - December 2015 - The View from Here
JED - December 2015 - 7
JED - December 2015 - Conferences Calendar
JED - December 2015 - 9
JED - December 2015 - Courses Calendar
JED - December 2015 - 11
JED - December 2015 - From the President
JED - December 2015 - 13
JED - December 2015 - Letters
JED - December 2015 - The Monitor
JED - December 2015 - 16
JED - December 2015 - 17
JED - December 2015 - 18
JED - December 2015 - 19
JED - December 2015 - 20
JED - December 2015 - 21
JED - December 2015 - 22
JED - December 2015 - 23
JED - December 2015 - 24
JED - December 2015 - 25
JED - December 2015 - 26
JED - December 2015 - 27
JED - December 2015 - 28
JED - December 2015 - 29
JED - December 2015 - Washington Report
JED - December 2015 - 31
JED - December 2015 - World Report
JED - December 2015 - 33
JED - December 2015 - 2015 AOC Award Winners
JED - December 2015 - 35
JED - December 2015 - 36
JED - December 2015 - 37
JED - December 2015 - 38
JED - December 2015 - 39
JED - December 2015 - 40
JED - December 2015 - 41
JED - December 2015 - 42
JED - December 2015 - 43
JED - December 2015 - SIGINT on the Border
JED - December 2015 - 45
JED - December 2015 - 46
JED - December 2015 - 47
JED - December 2015 - 48
JED - December 2015 - 49
JED - December 2015 - 50
JED - December 2015 - 51
JED - December 2015 - 52
JED - December 2015 - 53
JED - December 2015 - 54
JED - December 2015 - 55
JED - December 2015 - 56
JED - December 2015 - 57
JED - December 2015 - Jamming Down Under
JED - December 2015 - 59
JED - December 2015 - 60
JED - December 2015 - 61
JED - December 2015 - 62
JED - December 2015 - 63
JED - December 2015 - 64
JED - December 2015 - 65
JED - December 2015 - 66
JED - December 2015 - 67
JED - December 2015 - Commercial Airliners: Still Vulnerable to MANPADS
JED - December 2015 - 69
JED - December 2015 - 70
JED - December 2015 - 71
JED - December 2015 - 72
JED - December 2015 - 73
JED - December 2015 - 74
JED - December 2015 - 75
JED - December 2015 - New Products
JED - December 2015 - 77
JED - December 2015 - Threat Monitor
JED - December 2015 - 79
JED - December 2015 - 80
JED - December 2015 - 81
JED - December 2015 - EW 101
JED - December 2015 - 83
JED - December 2015 - 84
JED - December 2015 - 85
JED - December 2015 - Report from the 2015 AOC Pacific Conference
JED - December 2015 - 87
JED - December 2015 - 88
JED - December 2015 - 89
JED - December 2015 - Report from the 2015 AOC CEMA Conference
JED - December 2015 - 91
JED - December 2015 - 92
JED - December 2015 - AOC News
JED - December 2015 - 94
JED - December 2015 - 95
JED - December 2015 - 96
JED - December 2015 - Index of Advertisers
JED - December 2015 - JED Quick Look
JED - December 2015 - cover3
JED - December 2015 - cover4
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