Standoff Jammer Axed, Again

The Air Force has opted once again to cancel its plans to field a powerful standoff jammer capability by fitting large jamming pods on the wingtips of the B-52H. So claims Flight International in a March 3 report, citing an Air Combat Command electronic warfare requirements officer. According to the magazine, the Air Force has removed funding for the core component jammer project from its multi-year spending plan that will be part of its forthcoming Fiscal 2010 budget proposal. This is the second time that USAF has dropped the ax on the idea. In 2005, then Chief of Staff Gen. Michael Moseley terminated the original B-52 Standoff Jammer program after its costs ballooned. The Air Force, saying that a standoff element remained a critical piece of the US military’s future airborne electronic attack architecture, later resurrected the concept, but this time in the form of the more streamlined and disciplined CCJ effort. Now it appears that the Air Force will continue to mature standoff jamming technology, but not be tied to a formal acquisition program at least for now.