I suggest you read up on it. It does precisely what you say it doesn't.
From the developers website Critical end-game countermeasure proven to defeat enemy missile attacks.
A towed decoy's job (doesnt matter which towed decoy it is, or made by who) is to stear the missile seeker towards it instead of the aircraft it is protecting. That is a post-weapon launch, and a very late (HENCE - END-GAME -) response. An active wide-band jammer payload looks to provide active electronic attack in order to disrupt and degrade the radars that are feeding multiple SAM systems. Furthermore digital active systems are highly agile and adaptive and there digital nature and solid state electronics allow them to form very narrow precise beams thereby optimizing power for maximum long range EW effects..I am not even getting into some of the crazy stuff when you have a highly agile jammers and have the computing to generate false signals. If you can pick up (RWR) very precise frequencies, and have a modern digital systems you can concentrate a lot if not all energy into a narrow beam jamming precisely the small range of the incoming threat. Modern high end (AESA) jammers do this, and so will the upcoming NGJ that will greatly expand its range on top of the nearly 90KW of power availability per pod. This is a difference between an extensive all aspect wide band active electronic warfare/attack suite and just carrying around a towed decoy countermeasures. The spectra employs a digital AESA based jammer that is linked to a capable computer processor. The Gripen E takes this one step further by adding gallium nitride elements allowing even higher powered (GaN can take more power compared to GaA) for the precise beam forming and GaN allows them to package a high capability in a small package given the Gripen's size. The Next Generation Jammer piles on a very large volume of Gallium Nitride based package along with a RAT solution that delivers a 90KW of power per pod at its operational altitude (to put this into some context the current -99's will do well to sustain 20-22 KW of power generation for sustained periods mostly because the jamming payloads can't handle all that much power so they didn't bother upgrading the RAT)...The F-18E/F however doesn't carry anything like that because it costs money and adds to cost when you try to integrate something like this into an airframe especially when have a large stand off jammer capability working simultaneously. Perhaps in the future the F-18E/F will get it, but high RCS fighters need higher EW protection compared to stealth so I am not sure they can integrate something inside without resorting to a pod solution.
Calling a towed decoy carriage capability as being highly survivable against modern IAD's is like claiming that a B-1 bomber (that carries the same towed decoy) is going to be as survivable as a B-2 or F-22, F-35 etc. Simple point is that to have a chance of surviving you need to have stealth, or EW, or a stupid enemy. For high end threats you need a combination of stealth, EW and strong ESM capabilities..A lot of emphases on EW can be countered because equally agile nodes are available to air-defense makers and you cannot not be agile as a jammer because that leaves you vulnerable to HOJ seekers
As SAMs get better, so do jammers. It's a cat-and-mouse game.
And those Jammers are carried by a seperate iteration of the F-18 i.e. the EA-18G.
JASSM-ER is already 1000+ km
I was referring to the missiles in the inventory not something that isn't.
Strawman argument, I never said that. Stealth is better, but stealth is not the only path to accomplishing a mission. And with various OTH, bi-static and longer-wavelength radars becoming available, stealth has very real limitations
No one is designing fighters, bombers, UAV's, UCAV's etc etc without incorporating stealth features. Heck the USN did that on three programs around the turn of the century (N-ATF, A-12, and UCAS-N/J-UCAS/NUCAS). No one is designing stealth aircraft that rely solely on stealth..heck that hasn't happened since the F-117 that was a first generation stealth design.
No one however is dumb enough to pitch a fighter for the 2020's that has NO stealth, has NO active EW protection, does not have an IR MAWS system, and refers to a towed decoy as an EW package. I am sorry but that is not what is happening. Just because it works for the USN doesn't not make it right and the best approach because the USN has plenty of support to actually make those design compromises. Not all have that sort of infrastructure to fight in an integrated manner (F-35, F-18, EA-18, UCLASS and E-2D all linked under the NIFC-CA construct or a joint BACN)
The missile is developed now. It is available for $700k a pop, which is dirty cheap relatively speaking. Yet they still haven't bought it.
They haven't bought it because they do not want to do a new start and add to their munitions program at a time when those same munitions programs are getting CHOPPED. They already lost the Aim-9X Block III that would have been very helpful for the F-18E/F given its FUEL TANK mounted IRST. They are getting the LRASM which is essentially a JASSMER (from an integration perspective) but very small quantities of it. The USAF did not back them on the aim-9x blk III. The USN has two new munition (relevant to the mission) acquisition programs in the powered category in the LRASM and the AARGM-ER. The former would be followed by the OSUW later early next decade and I doubt they'll venture into another acquisition program anytime soon in their munitions portfolio at a time when it along with everything getting a cut especially when they go to the Congress and tell them that if they design and purchase the Ohio Class Replacement Sub they won't have any money in their annual shipbuilding budget left to buy any other ship. The answer is that the USN has different priorities now, and those are to buy a lot of ships to recapitalize the surface fleet, to launch a ginormous development and acquisition program in the Ohio Class replacement submarine and design the next generation DDG for the early 2030's. That along with cutting edge offset technologies such as the EMRG, and lasers will eat a lot into their funds for higher end stuff. Tactical aviation is not getting a priority for quite a while and their F-35C acquisition (pushing stuff back to the early 2020's) and the UCLASS scale down is a good example. However, call it for what it is i.e. a rebaselining of funding priorities..not some magic bullet where they have a fighter that isn't an all out performer in most regimes, lacks stealth, lacks a comprehensive integrated active digital EW suite, lacks Integrated IR situational awareness aids yet still can outclass the best fighters and penetrate the most well defended areas
The MKI is no longer cheap to buy, with acquisition costs rising towards $100 million a pop, and it has never been cheap to run
Even $100 Million is cheap compared to what the overall acquisition cost of a brand new system is likely to be. Where are the figures for the operational cost? It should be significantly cheaper given that many of the parts are being produced in INR as opposed to being bought in Euro or USD.
And as already mentioned, even a full run of LCA still leaves you short on numbers. Plus who knows how long it will take HAL to ramp-up production. The SH has a hot line available now that can crank out numbers more rapidly than any other option
There is plenty of incentive to fund HAL...They money saved from both acquiring 100+ western fighters can easily deliver a viable production line.
The SH has a hot line available now that can crank out numbers more rapidly than any other option.
That may be the only thing it has in its favor. But there are hot lines for the Rafale that is much more capable, the Typhoon which is also much more capable in the long run given its performance, and the F-35 which is a much better for the long term viability if buying a US fighter is not an issue.
There is good reason why Boeing has been selling the F-18E/F, F-18 Advanced, international , silent eagle etc over the last few years without any success. These fighters are much inferior from a quality perspective to what is coming in the pipeline. Procurement of fighters is a decision a nation has to live with for 3-4 decades.
The only reason the USN likes the F-18E/F is because it is cheap. Anything more expensive would have given them even more acquisition headaches, so they quietly bought a cheap aircraft that could get enhanced ability through support. The Growler makes up for some of its shortcomings but the platforms that would really add synergistic capability to it would be the EA-18G with the NGJ (provided it gets the CFT) and the F-35C along with the network backing it and allowing for that linkage. As a stand-alone aircraft without all that the F-18E/F is the least kinematically capable platform in the MRCA, was along with the Typhoon the only aircraft that did not have a broadband jamming capability integrated, and was along the F-16, Mig-29 and Typhoon to lack an IR MAWS (The typhoon bid may have offered that) something that has become an industry standard in the post 2015 world (F-22 has it, F-35 has it, Rafale has it, PAKFA is going to have it, IDF F-16's are getting it and the Gripen is getting it). Add to that it was the only non 9-G fighter in the competition with a full 9-G capability requiring testing funding (as Finland did for their classic hornets). You've got to be absolutely lunatic to buy something like that in 2015-16 timeframe. The USN is doing it because their acquisition program began in the 90's and because they have plenty of higher end capability coming quite soon..The IAF want a much better multi-role fighter heck they demanded a lot of capability. If there is nothing to get in terms of cutting edge capability, then its best to continue buying more MKI's until the LCA's come in large numbers, no need to acquire a new aircraft.