March 1, 2009: An interesting bit of intelligence misdirection played out at a recent public display of electronic warfare aircraft at Andrews Air Force base, outside of Washington DC. One of the items on display was an EA-18G electronic warfare aircraft, and under the cockpit, where there are normally little silhouettes of aircraft destroyed (silhouette of the aircraft downed) , or bombing missions flown (silhouette of a bomb), there was the silhouette of an American F-22. When pressed, navy personnel watching over the aircraft would only reveal that the EA-18G had "virtually" shot down an F-22 in a training exercise. Now, normally, this would be a big deal, because the F-22 is stealthy, highly maneuverable and the top fighter in the world. The EA-18G is based on the F-18G, a pretty potent aircraft, introduced a decade ago, and generally considered somewhat better than the F-15. But on paper, the F-22 should be able to make short work of an F-18E, or any F-15.
What was implied by all this was that the EA-18G used some combination of the many electronic warfare devices it carries, to help get the drop on an F-22. Whether this is true, or not (and is just an intel misdirection scam to confuse potential enemies), it does get people wondering about what kind of electronic warfare gear would put an F-22 at a disadvantage in a fight. Anything is possible, given the large number of electronic warfare devices carried on an EA-18G, but what is definitely probable are efforts to keep potential enemies confused, or distracted, when it comes to exactly what an EA-18G can do, with or without an F-22 in the neighborhood.