Boeing and the US Navy announced recently the successful test flight of several EA-18G Growler-than Manned-Unmanned team (MUM-T) known. In this test, two independently controlled EA-18G Growler-were used as unmanned aerial vehicles. A third manned EA-18G Growler-served as a mission controller for the other two. The test took place at the Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland.
The flights were carried out as part of the annual end fleet experiment (Navy Warfare Development Command's annual fleet experiment, FLEX). So that the effectiveness of the technology should be proven to perform in the F / A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers combat missions along with unmanned systems. A total of four flights have been completed with 21 demonstration missions.
According to US press reports were pilots on board the two Growler, the semi-autonomous flew during the test phase. The pilots conducted the takeoffs and landings and acted otherwise as protection in the event of system failure.
The demonstration flights were also used to collect data that are now being analyzed to decide subsequently to be in what future technology investments. "This would allow synergies with other unmanned systems the US Navy to be created in the development across the spectrum and with other branches of the armed forces," said Tom Brandt, head of Boeing's demonstration project group Manned-Unmanned Teaming. "This technology allows the US Navy to increase the reach of their sensors, and comply with the same safety distance of manned aircraft to potential dangers," Brandt said. "As a Force Multiplier can control multiple unmanned aerial vehicles, as well as a single crew without the workload for them increases significantly. This both situational awareness is increased and the ability to survive. "
EA-18G Growler modernization program
In the EA-18G Growler is called Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) aircraft. The machines of the US Navy under just run an intensive improvement program to align their skills to the demands of the future. They will also receive a Tactical Offensive Radio Operations (TORO) Special Capabilities pod. In the end, all machines be improved to the level block II.
The TORO-Pod was developed by the Air Force Research Laboratory for advanced electronic surveillance and attacks and provides "a unique hardware infrastructure, with the new technology quickly and easily into the Growler be integrated may be able to meet rapidly to new threats," said the US Navy. Initial tests were conducted in late 2019 to provide promptly an initial qualification is available. First System Configuration Set (SCS) H14 have already been shipped to selected squadron. The current focus is on SCS H16, which the fleet in 2021 should be available. H16 includes a massive hardware upgrade. H16 is the first SCS, the Mid-Band Pod Jammer (NGJ MB) of Raytheon is compatible with the ALQ-249th The NGJ MB enhances and replaces the proven AN / ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System of the EA-18G Growlers. NGJ MB should be with an initial operating capability (IOC) in September 2022 are available. H16 will also improve the ability of networked warfare by TTNT data link functions (Tactical Targeting Network Technology). In addition, the link is 16 capability. A further increase in power is an update of the AN / ALQ-218 receiver, whereby the detection, identification and geolocation of modern systems is improved in high-frequency environments.
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