The recent crisis over the skies of Kosovo and Serbia highlighted the importance of airborne electronic attack. EA-6B Prowlers from the Navy, Marine Corps, and the Naval Reserve were embedded in all of the strike packages that participated in the conflict. After the conflict, the Department of Defense (DoD) realized the EA-6B community was vastly overtasked and that the current rates of usage would not allow the Prowlers to fly until the projected service life of 2015. Operation Allied Force highlighted both the need for more aircraft platforms and the need for increased capabilities in the electronic attack mission. At the time, there was no distinct plan or platform being considered to replace the EA-6B.
Airborne Electronic Attack: What's Next?
By Commander Allan J. Assel, USN