Skip to comments.Vietnam-era Navy plane takes aim at new enemy: Iraq's roadside bombs
Posted on 06/15/2007 6:51:38 AM PDT by RDTF
ABOARD THE USS NIMITZ IN THE GULF A secret aircraft that debuted in Vietnam and usually protects U.S. fighter jets has taken on a different and crucial task over Iraq trying to stop the scourge of roadside bombs by jamming ground signals from mobile phones and garage door openers. The EA-6B Prowler is thought to be one of the most effective U.S. weapons against the bombs, the biggest killer of American service members in Iraq. But no one can be sure: Even supporters say its effectiveness is hard to measure.
The aircraft debuted at the tail end of Vietnam and was used in Kosovo and the 1991 Gulf War, escorting U.S. attack jets while jamming military radios, hostile radars and air defense batteries aimed at them. These days the Prowler focuses its jammers on smaller signals: those of mobile phones and garage door openers that are used to trigger roadside bombs in Iraq, said U.S. Navy Capt. David Woods, 49, of Ogden, Utah.
Often, it's hard to prove that a roadside bomb failed to explode because of Prowler jamming signals, Woods said. Still, he's confident the plane is making a difference against the bombs, which the military calls improvised explosive devices, or IEDs.
When it's flying we have greater success and fewer IEDs going off, Woods said. It's kind of an insurance policy.
Woods, the commander of Carrier Air Wing Eleven and one of the Navy's most experienced Prowler pilots, says few people understand the EA-6B's mission, which is to control the electromagnetic spectrum so allies can use it but not enemies.
The Prowler and its electronic warfare system is so valuable it has never been exported even to close allies. Details about the training of crew members are secret.
(Excerpt) Read more at cfx.signonsandiego.com ...
The Prowler is an AWESOME asset. Slogan - “Just Jam It!!”
We still have uses for older birds.
The Prowler and its electronic warfare system is so valuable it has never been exported even to close allies.Bubba didn't give this to the Chinese? Well, his Beast will make up for that mistake if "she" gets elected.
That is, if anyone under age 40 knows what OPSEC means, anymore...
I got no use for Barbara Walters.
The Prowler is living proof that an aircraft does not have to be a stealthy, super high tech (and mega $$) aircraft like the Raptor to perform brilliantly.
The Navy is going in the wrong direction entirely by trying to replace this aircraft with a version of the Hornet. Crew will be reduced by 50% and the process will have to be automated considerably to accomodate the loss of crew.
Too big? Miniaturize. Too expensive? Too expensive as compared to what? Our soldier’s lives?
Just do it!
He said “birds” not “turds”. :)
He said “birds” not “turds”. :)
So does the Prowler carry any conventional weapons at all (ie: a 50 cal, or any other projectiles)? I’ve always liked the look of the plane, just don’t know too much about it.
There's a reason that the emitter is back there on the vertical stabilizer and the canopy has an EMI coating on it...
Many roadside bombs are still triggered by non-RF sources unfortunately so comm jamming might be effective on some but certainly not on others
Still I guess some is better than none
Thanks for posting this. I was too busy and didn’t get a chance to do it yesterday.
My former son in law works on those planes at Whidbey Island. He is doing his job right now on the Nimitz. Godspeed, Josh.
I was at Oak Harbor when the crew returned after the confrontation with Wrong Way Huai (sp?).
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