The US Navy and Boeing recently demonstrated new targeting technologies that greatly enhance aircrew safety and effectiveness through the rapid integration and distribution of target information across multiple aircraft.
Utilizing an advanced targeting processor, an open architecture, high-bandwidth data link, and a Windows-based tablet integrated with the mission system, the demonstration proved that Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft can detect targets over longer distances and share information more rapidly than ever before.
“This enhanced targeting capability provides our aircrews with a significant advantage, especially in an increasingly dense threat environment where longer-range targeting is critical to the fight,” said Capt. David Kindley, U.S. Navy F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager.
Naval aviation history was made during the Navy fleet experimentation campaign when data was integrated from multiple Growlers operating with an E-2 Hawkeye aircraft, utilizing the new high-bandwidth data link and increasing the speed and accuracy of target locating.
Use of the tablet device integrated with the aircraft mission system was another first for a Navy platform. That technology allowed aircrews to more easily access data and communicate with crews in other aircraft.
Existing Growlers will be retrofitted with the upgrades while the technology will be included as a standard offering on all new aircraft currently in production.
“The complexity of global threat environments continues to evolve,” said Dan Gillian, Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18G programs vice president. “This long-range targeting technology is essential as we advance electronic attack capabilities for the conflicts of today and tomorrow.”
The EA-18G Growler is derived from the combat-proven F/A-18F Super Hornet and is the United States’ newest and most advanced airborne electronic attack platform, providing electronic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data to other aircraft. The Growler has been deployed since 2010 supporting U.S. and allied forces.