Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content

Survivability for Mission Success: F/A-18 Advanced EW

The pilots received a warning that two Iraqi MIG-21s were incoming. In a 40 second dogfight, two pilots shot down the enemy aircraft, allowing the group to continue on to a successful ground-attack mission. 

This legendary engagement perfectly encapsulates the F/A-18’s extraordinary versatility that is reflected in its unique designation that covers fighter and attack roles. 

The F/A-18 was the first airframe specifically designed for both missions and set the foundation for today’s fifth-generation multirole aircraft. While the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps customers use it from aircraft carriers, it is also deployed by allies from air bases around the world. 

This versatility comes with some challenges, including increased danger performing different roles in the more hostile and ever-changing threat environment that exists today. L3Harris is enabling warfighters to meet these challenges today with our successful integrated defensive electronic countermeasures (IDECM) AN/ALQ-214 on-board jammer, while developing the next generation Advanced Electronic Warfare (EW) system that counters emerging and future threats presented to the F/A-18 warfighter.

The L3Harris Advanced EW system quickly identifies, prioritizes and defeats threats for mission success using the most advanced self-protection technologies available. L3Harris’ Advanced EW integrated electronic support measure/ electronic attack system tightly integrates the former radar warning receiver function and enables the most rapid unambiguous correlation possible of separate threat detections across all relevant radio frequency (RF) bands. This is enabled by our direct-to-RF staring architecture which ensures immediate capture and processing of threat signals relative to delays associated with scanning systems.  These capabilities provide the warfighter greater situational awareness, a vital advantage in the battlespace. The enhanced detection and onboard jammer capability protects the F/A-18 aircrew against advanced RF threats and is designed to counter them with proven electronic countermeasure (ECM) techniques that deny, disrupt, delay and degrade launch and engagement sequences –  increasing the survivability of the aircraft and aircrew. 

Breaking from the IDECM mold to provide future maintainability and upgradability, the L3Harris Advanced EW system uses a modular open systems approach (MOSA) and open mission systems (OMS) compliant design, allowing the insertion of new and upgraded technology on site, maximizing cost-effectiveness and improving speed-to fleet. Additionally, the system maintains all existing data, mechanical and electrical interfaces for day-one “plug-and-play” integration onto the platform. This ensures that the warfighter is presented with all essential data needed for mission success. 

“We need to stay ahead of our adversaries and guarantee the warfighter has the tools they need not only when they need them, but before they need them. Our advanced EW system will deliver faster capabilities and enhance survivability by allowing the air crew to concentrate on mission success.” – Mark Orton,  L3Harris Electronic Warfare Mission Solutions F/A-18 EW Enterprise Director 

Building upon the foundation of more than two decades of delivering EW technology for the F/A-18, the L3Harris Advanced EW system provides insight into the impact that continuous defensive solution modernization has on mission success. With the new and advanced system, L3Harris will continue to ensure this enhanced detection and jammer solution will protect our naval aviators for years to come. 

“Our commitment to the safety and survivability of the warfighter is what drives our business to continuously develop innovative capabilities that protect the F/A-18 aircrew from existing and emerging threats. Our Advanced EW system will ensure the ability to react more rapidly to the adversary – helping achieve overmatch in today’s battlespace.” - Mark Orton, L3Harris Electronic Warfare Mission Solutions F/A-18 EW Enterprise Director 

NAVAIR Public Release 2023-545. Distribution Statement A – Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

Related News


Editorial | 03. 28. 2024

Future-Proofing the B-52

L3Harris is upgrading critical electronic warfare systems to ensure the iconic aircraft's spectrum superiority for decades to come.


Editorial | 03. 28. 2024

Future-Proofing the B-52

SAS EMS teaser

Editorial | 02. 09. 2024

From Dog Fighting to Data Fighting

L3Harris Viper Shield™ AN/ALQ-254(V)1 All-digital Electronic Warfare Suite on F-18 in sunlit flight

Editorial | 11. 08. 2023

Viper Shield EW Suite Soars Through Integration Test with F-16 Advanced Radar

L3Harris’ ES-5080 combined ESM and ELINT digital receiver system can detect radio frequency (RF) emissions from submarines, surface ships, aircraft and land-based radars.

Editorial | 11. 03. 2023

L3Harris: Winning the Airwaves of Modern Electronic Warfare

L3Harris Wins Contract for Next Phase of U.S. Navy F/A-18 Electronic Warfare Modernization Program image

Press release | 11. 02. 2023

L3Harris Wins Contract for Next Phase of U.S. Navy F/A-18 Electronic Warfare Modernization Program