Electronic Weapons: January 28, 2003


The Air Force has decided that rather than building a specific jamming aircraft, they will use standard F-22 and F-35 fighters with special software allowing their Active Electronically-Scanned Array radar antennas to function as jammers. The idea has several benefits. If any fighter can do the jamming job (some F-15s and F-18s also have AESA radars), then the mission isn't going to be scrubbed if the one jamming plane is unserviceable. Planes just finishing their bombing runs could provide jamming for the next attack group. The jamming beam is narrower and can be aimed directly at the specific enemy defense unit that must be jamming, avoiding interference with other missions and intelligence aircraft. --Stephen V Cole


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