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ECM Aircraft EA6/EF-111  
User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 17
Posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3774 times:

After the gulf war and during Bosnia etc. I heard some talk in the news and various sources that the US had a diminished ECM Aircraft fleet. I believe that I also heard that we had to move some USMC EA6B's to the Air Force . If this is the case why did the Air Force retire the EF-111 E fox ? Did it have problems ? What will replace the EA6B in the future?


You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSoren-a From Denmark, joined Sep 2001, 235 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3716 times:

Hi

This is done by memory so corrections are welcome.

I believe the reason the EF-111 was retied in 1995(?) was due to high maintenance cost and old airframes.

As far as I know there have not been moved any EA-6B's to the air force, but rather the Navy/Marine/Air force now share the EW capabilities of the EA-6B's.

The replacement for the EA-6B I believe is going to be the EF/A-18G "Growler" version of the F/A-18F Super Hornet.

Regards
Søren Augustesen


User currently offlineLMP737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3699 times:

There were other factors involved in the retirement of the EF-111 and the retention of the EA-6B. The Navy did a better job keeping the systems on the EA-6B up to date. In addition the EF-111 had a heavier workload for it's crew when compared to the EA-6B. Then there were budgetary constraints, the DOD did not have the money to maintain both fleets so one had to go.

User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5345 posts, RR: 53
Reply 3, posted (10 years 6 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 3693 times:

In addition to the jamming duties the EF/A-18G might have, there's some talk, I believe, of converting some B-52 and B-1 airframes for a standoff jamming role and designating them EB-52 (Dale Brown must be thrilled at that one) and EB-1, as well as converting some Global Hawk and Predator drones to do the job.


South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29786 posts, RR: 58
Reply 4, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3625 times:

Politics where the main reason the EF-111 was retired.

It is pretty well known that Clinton hated the military, so he tried to cut back where he could

One of this decisions was that the services should try and standardise roles as much as possible, the EF-111 was one of casualites, Since the E-6 and the EF-111 both filled the same role it was decreed that both services should combine the electronic warfare role. The survior aircraft was the E-6B.

Frankly I think it's retirement is one of the worst mistakes the Clinton Administration made.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5345 posts, RR: 53
Reply 5, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3612 times:

I do believe it was more than that, L-188. As others have said, budget-wise, neither the Prowler or the Raven were the cheapest aircraft to fly and keep maintained. And in regards to partisanship, we both know that administrations attempt to keep the military as lean as can be and still be functional. Look at the Bush administration's attempt to cut the B-1B fleet and to kill off the Crusader artillery system. While I do agree that the Clinton administration cut weapons programs that still had life in them, the A-6 and the EF-111, for instance, I think it's great that the less glorified roles in military aviation aren't just going to die away, especially if the EB-1 and EB-52 come to pass.


South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 17
Reply 6, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 3613 times:

Of all things to cut from the budget ECM does not make sence to me either. Well thanks for the reply guys, I was curious if the -111 had some type of system problem as a reason for its demise.


You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5345 posts, RR: 53
Reply 7, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3594 times:

There were some problems with the EF-111's flight control system, as it seems like the original analogue flight control system from the Aardvark did not take too well to the extra weight and different handling characteristics of the Raven, but from '90 through '97, a digital FCS was installed in all remaining EF-111s.


South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 8, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3519 times:

The Sparkvark was indeed retired for political reasons.
Clinton hated the military (draftdodger that he was) and wanted to kill it off as much as possible.
In the ensuing battles, the Navy (with less expensive procurement and development programs underway) found money to keep the EA-6B around where the Air Farce elected to remove vital aircraft for the ground attack and combat support roles in order to maintain the funding for the threatened but high PR potential flashy F-22 program.
Had they chosen to keep the EF-111 in service (and possibly the F-111G which was another victim and a far more capable penetration strike aircraft compared with the F-15E which however can perform the flashy AA role) the funding would have been insufficient to keep the F-22 program on track which would have set back the air defence plans for the USAF by at least a decade and possibly longer.

The idea to have the Navy provide the ECM role for the USAF was a hoax thought up by the Pentagon and the White House in order to apeace congress to the decision to remove a vital platform from the USAF inventory.
Operational planners knew full well that the Prowler can never perform the role of the Sparkvark.
Where the Prowler is designed for barrier jamming (much like the lumbering EC-135) the EF-111 was designed to escort the strike aircraft deep into enemy territory flying with them at any speed and altitude. The EA-6B cannot possibly hope to keep up with F-15s and F-16s flying hundreds of miles inland at low altitude and near supersonic speeds, a mission the EF-111 could have performed without any problem whatsoever.
At the same time, the EF-111 could never have performed the EA-6Bs intended mission of screening an entire carrier battle group from attack by longrange bombers and escorting a squadron of slow A-6Es to coastal targets and loitering at altitude nearby while the bombers make dash attacks over that target.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineSaintsman From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2002, 2065 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3489 times:

Whilst we are on the subject of ECM, I though that some of you might be interested in the company I work for, FR Aviation, and some of the things that we do with our Falcon 20s. We provide ECM training for the Military. It's only a small link on the company's web page but it goes to show that you do not need an aircraft as big as the B1 and B52 to carry out this sort of work. We are very sucessful in what we do.

http://www.fraviation.com/root/military.asp?Menu=#Electronic%20Warfare


User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 17
Reply 10, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

Jwenting,

I was speaking with someone last night about the ECM aircraft fleet and the point was raised about "the need after the cold war". Are we going to be operating in these high tech threat environments anymore ? I was curious what everyone thought of how our requirements are going to change. DO we need the F-22 ?? Would it be better to concentrate on counter insurgency aircraft along with electronic intel aircraft.
I think the DOD is being torn apart with the old thinking and the new.

Last night on Wings they were profiling the S3 Viking. This aircraft seems to be perfect for the inter theater electronic control/ counter measure ops. Not fast, but like the A-10 able to operate long and hard.



You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 29786 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 3478 times:

Not fast, but like the A-10 able to operate long and hard.

Ahhh, the A-10, another airplane the Air Force has tried for years to get rid of.

Except they keep finding that they need to use it.



OBAMA-WORST PRESIDENT EVER....Even SKOORB would be better.
User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 17
Reply 12, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 3477 times:

L188

My office is at the end of the runway here @ DM in Tucson. Just looking at the number of training flights we see all day. It does not look like they are planning on putting them away any time soon. Love the A-10!!



You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 13, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3463 times:

there's a lot of infighting in the USAF over the A-10.
In 1990 before Desert Storm they were being retired and several hundred were already at AMARC.
Then some A-10 units got deployed to Saudi which helped irrevocably establish the concept of the aircraft) and the retirement plans were scrapped and even partially reversed and the remaining aircraft planned for modernisation.

At the moment the A-10 retirement is again planned, but this time it is to be for when the JSF enters service to replace the F-16 (when first F-16s and later JSF will take over its role).

Again it's the same issue: A-10s are slow lumbering ground attack aircraft and not fast flashy fighterjets that make for nice movies and recruitment posters.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineAGM100 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 5407 posts, RR: 17
Reply 14, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 3459 times:

I heard that A10 duty is one of the most sought after in the airforce??


You dig the hole .. I fill the hole . 100% employment !
User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2895 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3446 times:

Sorry if I seem a little out of it, but was the EF-111 armed? EA-6B and HARM capability is a recent thing, I just can't recall ever seeing a Spark 'Vark with any pylons....


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5345 posts, RR: 53
Reply 16, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 3439 times:

The Raven was unarmed - the internal bay was filled with a pallet of exciters and antennae and it carried no external weapons either. There was, however, a kill by an EF-111A during Desert Storm when a Mirage F.1 crashed into the ground while chasing an EF-111.


South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineLt-AWACS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 6 months 3 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 3568 times:

The Air Force does send Navs to become ECMOs (and some ECOs from AWACS). The AF does schedule EA-6 use for various contingencies.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Yankee Air Pirate


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