Boeing Successfully Completes Initial Flight Demonstration of EA-18 Airborne Electronic Attack Variant

Boeing today successfully completed an initial flight demonstration of its EA-18 Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) concept aircraft. The test used an F/A-18F Super Hornet to carry three ALQ-99 jamming pods and two fuel tanks while measuring noise and vibration data and assessing aircraft flying qualities.

The EA-18 is one of the platforms under consideration in a Department of Defense analysis of alternatives to replace the EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft. The U.S. Navy has an operational need to start replacing the Prowler by 2008.

"The EA-18 will perform full-spectrum electronic surveillance and electronic attack of enemy threat radars and communications nets," said Paul Summers, director for Boeing's F/A-18 derivative programs. "The EA-18 leverages the U.S. Navy's investment in the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet platform and Northrop Grumman's Improved Capability III radar receiver system, which represents a significantly reduced risk approach over other unproven platforms and systems."

A derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet - a platform which is in production today - the EA-18 is a highly flexible design that enables the warfighter to perform a broad range of tactical missions, operating from either the deck of an aircraft carrier or land-based fields.

The EA-18 is 99 percent common with the Super Hornet and would be expected to significantly reduce support and training costs for the U.S. Navy.

The EA-18 is the result of an engineering design, development and test effort that began in late 1993. This effort has included avionics and aircraft conceptual design, engineering analysis, high- and low-speed wind tunnel testing, electromagnetic interference/compatibility laboratory testing, antenna range testing and extensive crew-vehicle interface development.

The combination of a validated design, proven platform and proven electronics positions the EA-18 program to begin a system development and demonstration phase as early as 2003.

The Department of Defense plans to announce the results of the analysis of alternatives for the AEA mission next month.



For further information:

Patricia Frost
office: (314) 234-6996
mobile: (314) 705-0895

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