• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

A Canadian Airborne EW Capabiilty? Split from The RCAF's Next Generation Fighter (CF-188 Replacement

Drallib

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
3
Points
230
Saab’s offering to Finland includes advanced Electronic Warfare systems, comprising of a newly developed Electronic Attack Jammer Pod and a decoy missile system.

Saab’s offering to Finland for the HX fighter procurement includes both the fighter jet Gripen E/F and the GlobalEye Airborne Early Warning and Control System.

As part of Gripen’s E/F Electronic Warfare capability, Saab now reveals the development of a new decoy missile system, the Lightweight Air-launched Decoy Missile. The decoy missile and the new Electronic Attack Jammer Pod, which Saab started flight testing in 2019, will ensure that Finnish pilots will be protected from enemy radars and missiles.

The new decoy missile will be a highly capable stand-in jammer for the most demanding missions. It will act as a force multiplier as it reduces the number of missiles and aircraft required to complete a mission. The decoy missile can jam or create false targets for acquisition, tracking, fire control and airborne radars.

“Our offering to Finland, combining Gripen E/F and GlobalEye as force multipliers, will protect Finland’s people and borders, by delivering both comprehensive situational awareness and a true deterrence effect.

“The decoy missile, that we present today, will constitute a strong addition to Gripen E/F’s built-in electronic attack capabilities.The payload of the new decoy missile is to a large extent developed in Finland and this will strengthen our offer to Finland even further,” says Jonas Hjelm, Senior Vice President and Head of Saab Business Area Aeronautics.

The development of the new decoy missile means that Saab will expand its Saab Technology Centre in Tampere, Finland with more highly skilled employees. Saab has already established a deep technical partnership with Aalto University, where more than 10 research projects are ongoing within the areas of advanced sensors and artificial intelligence.

https://saabgroup.com/media/news-press/news/2020-08/saab-reveals-new-decoy-missile-for-gripen/

I wonder if SAAB included this in their offer to Canada. Can't see why they wouldn't.
 

Drallib

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
3
Points
230
I came across this article about the EA-18G Growler and it's cabilities. Got me thinking if maybe Boeing would include it in their offering to Canada, and if so would that be included in the 88 Fighters requested or an addition. Say, 88 Block III Super Hornets and 8 Block II Growlers.

I don't think Boeing can afford to lose this competition with Canada...

The Amazing Growler Ball 2020 Video Teases An EA-18G Cyber Attack Capability That Is Yet To Come

As our readers know very well, the “Ball” series (“Hornet Ball”, “Rhino Ball”, “Strike Fighter Ball” and “Growler Ball”) is a very well known yearly compilation of the best videos filmed during the previous 365 days by U.S. Navy pilots and WSOs (Weapons Systems Officers) of “legacy” F/A-18A-D Hornets, F/A-18E/F Super Hornets (and F-35C Joint Strike Fighters), as well as EA-18G Growlers.

[....]

However, there is at least one additional detail that makes Growler Ball 2020 interesting, at least to me.

At the 05:02 mark, you can see the MRAD (Master RADIATION) light up, then what is supposed to be the effect of jamming on both the camera and the target, a computer system, that consequently, crashes.

The fictional system crash was probably included in Growler Ball just because it gave an immediate, visual, idea of the devastating effects of a jamming attack, however its cameo is at least worth of remark considered that the supposed Cyber capabilities of the EA-18G have been in the talks for more than a decade.

[....]

We have also reached out to NAVAIR to have an update on the EA-18G Growler’s Cyber Attack capabilities.

Boeing is currently developing the Block II Growler, which will feature the Advanced Cockpit System of the Block III Super Hornet as well as improved sensors and upgraded electronic attack systems; however, those requirements are still in development, so we cannot provide further details at this time,” F/A-18 & EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265) explained us in an email.

Indeed, Boeing plans to improve the Growler’s electronic attack sensors and it is considering enhancements to Northrop Grumman’s ALQ-218 sensor system, which is used by the Growler for radar warning, electronic support measures and electronic intelligence, DefenseNews reported last year.

Although not officially confirmed, the Cyber Attack capabilities will probably be available in the future, with the Block II upgrade and the NGJ (Next Generation Jamming) pods.

[more to read....]

https://theaviationist.com/2020/09/02/the-amazing-growler-ball-2020-video-teases-an-ea-18g-cyber-attack-capability-that-is-yet-to-come/
 

Attachments

  • EA-18G-Growler.jpg
    EA-18G-Growler.jpg
    50.5 KB · Views: 35

dimsum

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
690
Points
940
Drallib said:
I came across this article about the EA-18G Growler and it's cabilities. Got me thinking if maybe Boeing would include it in their offering to Canada, and if so would that be included in the 88 Fighters requested or an addition. Say, 88 Block III Super Hornets and 8 Block II Growlers.

I don't think Boeing can afford to lose this competition with Canada...

While the Growler is an impressive piece of kit, we would need to train up yet more fast jet pilots and EWOs.  Essentially we'd have to stand up a new capability, or at least one that's very different than what we currently have at 414 Sqn.
 

Drallib

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
3
Points
230
Dimsum said:
While the Growler is an impressive piece of kit, we would need to train up yet more fast jet pilots and EWOs.  Essentially we'd have to stand up a new capability, or at least one that's very different than what we currently have at 414 Sqn.

Who flies the EA-18s in the USN? Are they F/A-18 Pilots that fly and the EWO in the back? Or do they have specific pilots to fly EA-18s?

The RCAF would probably have to have CF-18 pilots fly the CE-18 Growler and perhaps have ACSO's in the backseat. Of course, this would mean more recruiting, but I think with the possibility of ACSO's being a "back-seater" it would bring more appeal to the trade.
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,237
Points
890
Drallib said:
I came across this article about the EA-18G Growler and it's cabilities. Got me thinking if maybe Boeing would include it in their offering to Canada,

Why would they do so?

Canada articulates its requirement through the RFP.  At that point vendors are required to meet those terms.  There's no extra credit for other stuff not requested.  There's a procedural fairness requirement to not say "Well, once we read their proposal, we changed our mind and are selecting them based on something not included in our requirements."

Unless the RFP asks for it, they won't include it.
 

dimsum

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
690
Points
940
Drallib said:
Who flies the EA-18s in the USN? Are they F/A-18 Pilots that fly and the EWO in the back? Or do they have specific pilots to fly EA-18s?

The RCAF would probably have to have CF-18 pilots fly the CE-18 Growler and perhaps have ACSO's in the backseat. Of course, this would mean more recruiting, but I think with the possibility of ACSO's being a "back-seater" it would bring more appeal to the trade.

The Growler may be based on the SH but it's a completely different role, so the pilots would at least need some different tactics training, probably understand EW/EA a lot more than SH pilots, etc.  It's probably different enough to be considered a different qualification.

As for the EWO, it would almost certainly be an ACSO job - the USN and RAAF use their equivalents for them.  However, I don't know if the fun of the job would overcome being posted to Cold Lake.  No thanks.

At the risk of a tangent:  ACSO is a very varied job, which is completely different depending on airframe.  That is a big part of why it's tough to explain to civilians (or even other CAF members, since it's not really about navigation anymore in most airframes) so few people actually know what they do.  It's not like Pilot or AEC, where it's a simple one-liner explanation.
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,237
Points
890
Dimsum said:
As for the EWO, it would almost certainly be an ACSO job - the USN and RAAF use their equivalents for them.  However, I don't know if the fun of the job would overcome being posted to Cold Lake.  No thanks.

For you, we'll arrange a posting to Bagotville.

No need to thank us.
 

Drallib

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
3
Points
230
dapaterson said:
Why would they do so?

Canada articulates its requirement through the RFP.  At that point vendors are required to meet those terms.  There's no extra credit for other stuff not requested.  There's a procedural fairness requirement to not say "Well, once we read their proposal, we changed our mind and are selecting them based on something not included in our requirements."

Unless the RFP asks for it, they won't include it.

The requirements being to defend Canada and Canadian sovereignty and contribute to our NORAD and NATO commitments, now and in the future.

I think some EA-18s would help in this aspect.  :nod:
 

SeaKingTacco

Army.ca Fixture
Donor
Reaction score
925
Points
910
Dimsum said:
The Growler may be based on the SH but it's a completely different role, so the pilots would at least need some different tactics training, probably understand EW/EA a lot more than SH pilots, etc.  It's probably different enough to be considered a different qualification.

As for the EWO, it would almost certainly be an ACSO job - the USN and RAAF use their equivalents for them.  However, I don't know if the fun of the job would overcome being posted to Cold Lake.  No thanks.

At the risk of a tangent:  ACSO is a very varied job, which is completely different depending on airframe.  That is a big part of why it's tough to explain to civilians (or even other CAF members, since it's not really about navigation anymore in most airframes) so few people actually know what they do.  It's not like Pilot or AEC, where it's a simple one-liner explanation.

True story. A Cyclone TACCO (ACSO) is a cross between airborne battle manager/tactician and a Rescue swimmer. It can make for some interesting days on the boat. My personal record in one flight was 5 complete mission retasks from surface surveillance to  pax transfer to ASW to photo run to slinging loads between ships. That is just one fleet. A CP140 ACSO, apart from sharing similar crew battle management duties and maritime doctrine, has a different job. All this to say that if we got a two seat fighter, the backseater would likely be an ACSO and there would be little cross over to the other ACSO jobs.
 

Drallib

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
3
Points
230
Dimsum said:
The Growler may be based on the SH but it's a completely different role, so the pilots would at least need some different tactics training, probably understand EW/EA a lot more than SH pilots, etc.  It's probably different enough to be considered a different qualification.

Maybe the students who don't make it through Fighter school at 410 could go over to the Growler, instead of going back to Moose Jaw to fly rotor or fixed, if the reason they weren't successful in Fighter school was for reasons specific to the Super Hornet.

All of this to say if Canada selects Boeing as the winner for the FFCP, and if boeing included EA-18s in their bid. Those are big ifs.
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,237
Points
890
Canada has not articulated a requirement for the Growler.  If there is no articulated requirement, the vendor will not offer it.
 

Drallib

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
3
Points
230
dapaterson said:
Canada has not articulated a requirement for the Growler.  If there is no articulated requirement, the vendor will not offer it.

Looking at Finland's HX Competition (https://www.defmin.fi/en/administrative_branch/strategic_capability_projects/hx_fighter_program/hx_fighter_program/hx_fighter_program_timeline#47d08352) they stated, "The request for information sent out in spring 2016 contained descriptions of fights that could occur in the operational environment of Finland's air defence."

Could Canada have included something similar? I see also that there is a first proposal, then there would be negotiations following. Could it be possible at all that Boeing  "raise" their bid with some Growlers...?
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
1,237
Points
890
This is all about open and fair procurement.  You can't change the standard you're evaluating the bids on midway through.  Unless there is something in the RFP asking for an EW aircraft (or EW capabilities that the Growler would meet) it can't be used as part of the decision making process - decisions can only be made based on the articulated criteria.

Changing our minds about criteria midway through means either (a) scrapping and restarting the process or (b) being successfully sued by losing bidders for their costs and lost profits.

Neither one is particularly desirable as an outcome.
 

Drallib

Full Member
Subscriber
Reaction score
3
Points
230
dapaterson said:
This is all about open and fair procurement.  You can't change the standard you're evaluating the bids on midway through.  Unless there is something in the RFP asking for an EW aircraft (or EW capabilities that the Growler would meet) it can't be used as part of the decision making process - decisions can only be made based on the articulated criteria.

Changing our minds about criteria midway through means either (a) scrapping and restarting the process or (b) being successfully sued by losing bidders for their costs and lost profits.

Neither one is particularly desirable as an outcome.

I was mistakenly under the impression that Finland recieved bids in early 2019, then later that year they requested revised bids, and that's when SAAB and Boeing offered the GlobalEye and Growler. But after reading more into it, I see that they were always on the table.

I wonder.. if Finland selects a fighter that were offered to Canada (Lightning II, Super Hornet, Gripen) if that would have an affect in which aircraft Canada chooses.
 

Good2Golf

Army.ca Legend
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
1,144
Points
1,160
Drallib said:
I wonder.. if Finland selects a fighter that were offered to Canada (Lightning II, Super Hornet, Gripen) if that would have an affect in which aircraft Canada chooses.

No.

Why would it?  Each country has their own very specific set of operational and support requirements.
 

suffolkowner

Sr. Member
Reaction score
37
Points
280
Good2Golf said:
No.

Why would it?  Each country has their own very specific set of operational and support requirements.

Canada is making use of the Finlands testing/number though is it not? I thought I read somewhere that that was the case and one of the reasons we did not need to do any operational tests.

On the Electronic Attack Warfare I was under the impression that the F-35 possessed some capabilities in that area as well although maybe this is just something available to all AESA equipped aircraft?
 

Spencer100

Sr. Member
Reaction score
15
Points
180
Drallib said:
I came across this article about the EA-18G Growler and it's cabilities. Got me thinking if maybe Boeing would include it in their offering to Canada, and if so would that be included in the 88 Fighters requested or an addition. Say, 88 Block III Super Hornets and 8 Block II Growlers.

I don't think Boeing can afford to lose this competition with Canada...

Boeing's F-18 bid is a nice to have at this point for them. Boeing has bigger fish to fry.  They going to be testing The F-18 on a ski ramp for the Indian Navy.  I also believe local production too. The Indian Navy needs a carrier based aircraft soon. Funny how soldiers being killed (by sticks and stones) focuses the mind.
 

dimsum

Army.ca Fixture
Mentor
Reaction score
690
Points
940
SeaKingTacco said:
All this to say that if we got a two seat fighter, the backseater would likely be an ACSO and there would be little cross over to the other ACSO jobs.

The EWO ACSO job isn't even similar to the WSO job of a USN and RAAF Super Hornet, despite it being an ACSO (their equivalent) job and flying in the same basic aircraft. 

But I digress.
 

SupersonicMax

Army.ca Veteran
Mentor
Reaction score
417
Points
880
Dimsum said:
The EWO ACSO job isn't even similar to the WSO job of a USN and RAAF Super Hornet, despite it being an ACSO (their equivalent) job and flying in the same basic aircraft. 

But I digress.

The Growler qual is mostly academic for a qualified E/F pilot.  The front cockpit is almost identical.

For the backseaters, you’d need a different trade than ACSO.  What 402 offers has nothing to do with what the Growlers do.  If we were to get Growlers, we should send our backseaters to USN for ab-initio training  and Growler conversion.
 

Good2Golf

Army.ca Legend
Staff member
Directing Staff
Subscriber
Mentor
Reaction score
1,144
Points
1,160
For the significant incremental cost, the bang for a dedicated EA capability fits nowhere within Canadian Defence Policy.
 
Top