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The EA-18G will provide full-spectrum electronic sur veillance and
electronic attack of hostile threat radars and communications nets,
operating autonomously or as a major node in a network-centric operation
of other aircraft by providing accurate emitter targeting for employment
of onboard suppression weapons such as the High-Speed Anti-Radiation
Importantly, the two-seat version of the EA-18G allows an EW operator
to make a real time assessment of the tactical situation and control the
Attack functions either simultaneously or independently. The provision
of an equivalent capability in the F-35 Lightning 11 is not known, but the
inclusion of a second seat would represent a significant change to the
airframe and is considered to be unlikely with the advent of the Growler.
The EA-18G is now entering USN carrier fleet ser vice and Defence,
although presently uncommitted to the adoption of the EA-18G, is
considering low-cost funding of the installation of harnesses and similar
to acquire the EA18-G capability.
PA-8A POSEIDON MMA
The PA-8A is under development by Boeing as a replacement for the
On 15 June 2004 Boeing Integrated Defence Systems (IDS) was awarded
a sole source USAF contract for the Component Advanced Development
(CAD) Phase based on its offer of the B737-800ERX aircraft, but fitted with
the B737-900 wing. This approach followed Boeing’s established practice
of selecting an existing commercial platform and beefing it up as necessary
for military use.
The P-8A Poseidon is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-
surface warfare, intelligence, sur veillance and reconnaissance aircraft
capable of broad-area, maritime and littoral operations. A derivative of
the Next-Generation 737-800, the P-8A combines superior performance
and reliability with an advanced mission system that ensures maximum
interoperability in the future battle space.
Being aware of the longer term plan to retire the RAAF’s AP-3C fleet,
development of the P-8A, but declined this invitation, possibly due to cool
feet on the F-35 Program. It is understood that the RAAF follows the P-8A
program assiduously, as it is likely to become the world-wide choice to
replace the P3-C.
The U.S. Navy plans to purchase 108 P-8As to replace its fleet of P-3C
aircraft. The first aircraft began formal flight test in 2009 and initial
operational capability is slated for 2013.
On Jan. 1, 2009 Boeing signed a contract with the Government of India
to provide eight P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-
submarine warfare aircraft to the Indian navy. The P-8I is a derivative of the
P-8A designed specifically for the Indian Navy.
Australia has also bought into the program and the RAAF is understood
to be involved in its spiral development with a view to eventually acquiring
8 of the aircraft.
The program has a long way to travel before the EW suite for the aircraft
is finalized, but in several respects the EW suite for the Wedgetail aircraft
is relevant, particularly the in the areas of ESM, SAM IR and RF self-
protection. The installation of a towed decoy, such as the ALE-55 is also
considered to be likely. As one of the most experienced operators of this
class of aircraft the RAAF is likely to define the composition of the EW suite
and other sensors for its application.
Of major significance is the Raytheon APY-10 radar, the antenna of
which is mounted in a slightly extended nose. The radar is optimized
for maritime, littoral and land sur veillance and includes “ultra-high”
resolution imaging modes for all operational scenarios. The AP-10Y is a
development of the APS-137 radar.
The acquisition of a HALE UAS has been on the Defence agenda for as
long as the acquisition of a replacement for the AP-3C, and until about a
RAAF Hornets at Red Flag Credit: ADF
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