Electronic Weapons: September 9, 1999

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The US Air Force is studying ways to field a new airborne jammer aircraft. The "obvious" choice of an EF-22 is actually very difficult since mounting the necessary antennae on the stealth airframe is a major design challenge. The Air Force wants to instead build a jammer version of the Joint Strike Fighter, since at this early stage in its design minor changes could be made that would allow some airframes to be easily completed as jammer planes. Another option under serious consideration is to use B-1B or B-52H aircraft, which have huge loiter times and plenty of internal volume. It might even be possible to mount airborne jammer gear in most of the bombers, allowing them to launch a volley of cruise missiles and then take up jamming duties for tactical aircraft.--Stephen V Cole

 


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