Navy chooses Crane Keltec to upgrade power supplies in EA-18G electronic warfare (EW) combat jet aircraft

Aug. 17, 2022
The AN/ALQ-218 is a passive sensor system that functions as a radar warning receiver, electronic support measures, and electronic intelligence.

CRANE, Ind. – U.S. Navy airborne electronic warfare (EW) experts needed upgraded power supplies for the AN/ALQ-218 signals intelligence (SIGINT) system aboard the Boeing EA-18G Growler carrier-based aircraft. They found their solution from the Crane Aerospace & Electronics Keltec segment in Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Officials of the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division in Crane, Ind., announced $9.1 million contract to Crane Keltec last month to upgrade ALQ-218 weapons replaceable assembly 9 power supply Navy assets.

The AN/ALQ-218 from the Northrop Grumman Mission Systems segment in Baltimore is a passive sensor system that functions as a radar warning receiver, electronic support measures, and electronic intelligence.

The system provides airborne situational awareness and signals intelligence (SIGINT) by detecting, identifying, locating, and analyzing sources of radio frequency (RF) emissions. This contract includes purchases for the U.S. Navy and the government of Australia.

Related: Crane Keltec to provide high-voltage power supplies for combat jet electronic warfare (EW) systems

Crane Keltec specializes in reliable and lightweight power conversion for military applications, including DC-DC converters and active power factor correction units The company provides auto-transformer rectifier units; transformer rectifier units; regulated transformer rectifier units; and AC-DC power conversion.

The AN/ALQ-218 is aboard the EA-18G electronic warfare (EW) jet and the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, and is being considered in the future for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and submarines.

The Navy EA-18G carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft carries multi-mode radar detection, suppression, and countermeasure equipment, such as the multiple AN/ALQ-99 radar jamming pods on its wing tips and tail, the AN/ALQ-218 EW receiver, and a communications countermeasures system installed in the plane's gun bay.

Related: Boeing to install electronic warfare (EW) systems aboard U.S. Air Force F-15 jet fighter aircraft fleet

The AN/ALQ-218 can operate on RF bands 0, 1, 2, and 3, with pulsed and continuous-wave radar with optional communications support, while providing specific emitter identification. It offers enhanced fine frequency measurement to support electronic jamming.

The Boeing EA-18G Growler combat jet is a specialized version of the two-seat carrier-based F/A-18F Super Hornet jet fighter bomber that is adapted for electronic warfare -- specifically jamming enemy radar and communications, as well as attacking enemy radar installations with missiles that home-in on radar signals.

On this contract Crane Keltec will do the work in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and should be finished by July 2027. For more information contact Crane Aerospace & Electronics online at, or the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division at

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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