General Dynamics/Grumman EF-111A Raven

TypeElectronic warfare
Country of originUnited States
ManufacturerGeneral Dynamics, conversion by Grumman
First flight10 March 1977
Introduced1983
Produced
Numbers built42
Unit costsUS$15 million, plus $25 million each for conversion
Max speedMach 2.2 (1,460 mph, 2,350 km/h) ; above 30,000 ft
Max rangeRange: 2,000 miles (1,740 nmi, 3,220 km)

Ferry range: 3,800 mi (3,300 nmi, 6,110 km)

Service ceiling: 45,000 ft (13,715 m)
DimensionsLength: 76.0 ft (23.17 m)

Wingspan: 63.0 ft spread, 32.0 ft swept (19.2 m / 9.74 m)

Height: 20.0 ft (6.1 m)

Wing area: 657.4 ft² spread, 525 ft² swept (61.07 m² / 48.77 m²)
WeightEmpty weight: 55,275 lb (25,072 kg)

Loaded weight: 70,000 lb[20] (31,751 kg)

Max takeoff weight: 89,000 lb (40,370 kg)
Powerplant2 x Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-3 initially, later upgraded to TF30-P-9 turbofans with afterburner, 19,600 lbf (TF30-P-9) (92.7 kN (TF30-P-9)) each
ArmamentNone
OperatorsFormer Operator:
United States

The General Dynamics/Grumman EF-111A Raven was developed by converting some of General Dynamics F-111A to play the role as an electronic warfare/electronic countermeasures (ECM) aircraft and to take the position of Douglas B-66 Destroyer electronic warfare variant (EB-66). The only operator of the EF-111A Raven was the United States Air Force (USAF) as it wanted of having its own electronic warfare/electronic countermeasures (ECM) aircraft. The USAF rejected previous proposals to operate the Navy Grumman EA-6B Prowler.

The EF-111A Raven development commenced in 1974 when the USAF granted a contract to Grumman for converting some of its F-111A. The EF-111A was ready to enter service in 1983. After 1998, when EF-111A Raven retired, the USAF started to rely on the Navy and Marine Corps EA-6Bs for electronic warfare support.

The History of the EF-111A Raven

With the aging EB-66 and EB-57 (electronic warfare version of the Martin B-57 Canberra) electronic warfare aircrafts owned by the USAF circa the 1960s, the USAF officers felt the need to substitute aircraft with increasingly heavier mission that must be implemented in line with the development of radar and avionics technology. Around 1967, the USAF began studying a similar aircraft owned by the United States Navy, the EA-6B Prowlers.

After studying it carefully, in 1972 the USAF decided to modify some existing F-111A aircraft into electronic warfare with consideration it could reduce costs and this aircraft also had a great combat range and having supersonic speed.

In 1974 the conversion contract was awarded to General Dynamics as the manufacturer of F-111A and also to Grumman. Finally Grumman was selected as prime contractor. In January 1975, Grumman began to convert the two F-111As and this aircraft had the first flight in March 1977. Until 1985, as many as 42 EF-111As produced with a total value of U.S. $ 1.5 billion.

Major equipment that differentiates EF-111A with the F-111A is the Raytheon AN/ALQ-99E jamming system weighs 6.000 pounds (2.700 kg) that mounted on the weapons bay. As a consequence, electrical and cooling systems in the EF-111A must be upgraded so that it would be able to support the performance of the jamming system.

Like other electronic warfare aircraft, the EF-111A was also not armed. If there is an attack on this plane then acceleration, speed and maneuver become their only way out. For that reason, Grumman used a new and more powerful engine Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-9 turbofans with afterburners which was able to boost the aircraft that manned by two crews (pilot and electronic warfare officer) to reach a maximum speed of Mach 2.2.

The EF-111A Raven has flown for air force missions in several military operations, including Operation El Dorado Canyon in Libya in 1986, Operation Just Cause in Panama during late 1989, Operation Desert Storm in Iraq in 1991, Operation Deliberation Force, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Northern Watch and Operation Southern Watch.

Since the early 1980s to 1998, it is recorded at least five USAF Electronic Combat Squadron became the operator of EF-111A.

General Dynamics/Grumman EF-111A Raven videos

General Dynamics/Grumman EF-111A Raven

General Dynamics/Grumman EF-111A Raven

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