aesa

Sydney J. Freedberg Jr. photo

HUNTSVILLE, ALA.: After 14 years of guerrilla war, the Army has underinvested in defeating high-end threats, the service’s acquisition chief said today. That puts a premium on modernizing missile defense despite tight budgets, from upgrades to the venerable Patriot to new offensive missiles to revolutionary technologies like lasers. “We need to enable ourselves to operate… Keep reading →

Patriot missile launcher

WASHINGTON: It’s been a big week for arms exports. But sometimes the big story isn’t what you think. While headlines have focused on the US government’s decision to allow limited exports of armed drones, arguably the most important export policy change involved a material called gallium nitride (GaN). “The gallium nitride story is an under-reported… Keep reading →

Next Generation Jammer in tests

WASHINGTON: Raytheon’s Next Generation Jammer underwent its first test flights at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake as the electronic warfare association’s annual conference got¬†underway in October. The tests were performed to judge whether the system could successfully jam and disrupt enemy threat radars. This¬†marks the first tests of the pod itself, the AESA… Keep reading →

f-35-20120503ogr159001

For years, the news about the most expensive conventional weapons system in US history, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, has been driven by its enormous cost, design, and schedule screw-ups. The Pentagon and Congress and the public have rarely spoken about what the F-35 would do, how effectively it could destroy an enemy’s air defenses,… Keep reading →

PENTAGON: While the Air Force and the Marines stake their future on a great leap forward to the stealthy F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the Navy is taking what one officer called “baby steps” into the future: a careful, incremental upgrade of electronic warfare systems to jam enemy radar instead of just hiding from it. The fleet is moving, slowly but surely, from 1960s-vintage EA-6B Prowlers carrying 1970s-vintage jamming pods — complete with vacuum tubes — to supersonic EA-18G Growlers armed, as of 2020, with a digital Next-Generation Jammer.

Despite persistent rumors the Navy will cut back its F-35 purchase, the service remains officially committed to a carrier-launched version of the F-35, the F-35C. They’re just not counting on the F-35 to penetrate increasingly sophisticated air defenses on its own. Keep reading →