Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The truth about the EA-18 Growler kill on the F-22 in training.

The above photo and the article below is from Stephen Trimble's long dead Flight Global "The Dew Line" Blog (obtained from the Internet Wayback Machine circa 2009).
Today was Electronic Awareness Warfare Appreciation Day at Andrews AFB. The base hosted a sort of petting zoo for high-tech jamming systems. I noticed a Boeing EA-18G parked on the side, and struck up a conversation with the pilot.
As we chatted about interference cancellation systems, I couldn’t help but notice an odd decal decorating the side of the fuselage. I asked the pilot: What’s that aircraft decal on the fuselage?
“That’s an F-22,” he said.

Well, why is it there?
“Because this is the EA-18G that killed an F-22,” he explained.
Um, really?
Alas, after that bombshell, the conversation quickly dried up. I did learn the EA-18G kill was courtesy of a well-timed AIM-120 AMRAAM shot. And I learned the simulated combat exercise took place at Nellis AFB. How the EA-18G escort jammer got the shot, and whether its jamming system played a role in the incident were not questions the pilot was prepared to answer.

For the spotters, the aircraft pictured above is EA-1, the first of two Lot 27 F/A-18Fs converted into flying prototypes for the EA-18G program.
The truth is that no one knows how the EA-18 got a missile lock on the F-22.  We don't know if the F-22 had reflectors on, we don't know if the US Navy has been pushing electronic warfare/attack to points that would startle the general public....

We just don't know.

So the truth is clear.  Anyone that tells you what happened and how it was done is blowing smoke.  They weren't there, they weren't briefed and they don't know.

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