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AFTERMARKET REVIEW


Eduard AN/ALQ-184 (Short) ECM POD -- 1:48 Scale

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The “dark art” of electronic warfare (EW) represents perhaps one of the most intriguing and important offensive and defensive capabilities fielded by modern combat aircraft.  Electronic countermeasures (ECM) go back to earliest attempts to jam radars in WWII.  Since then, techniques and hardware have evolved significantly to keep one step ahead of an opponent’s latest generation of search radars, SAMs, communications gear, and guided munitions such as air-to-air missiles.  Accordingly, a lot of the details surrounding ECM are highly classified.

The AN/ALQ-184 ECM pod represents an evolutionary development of the AN/ALQ-131 – and is better, faster, and more capable.  This pod was specifically designed and tailored by Raytheon for use on the F-16 in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but it also made its way onto the F-4G, A-10, and combat-tasked C-130s.  The AN/ALQ-184 ECM Pod contains various electronic receiver, antenna, and transmitter modules that are designed to spoof or otherwise cause an incoming enemy missile to miss its target.  The pod can thus employ powerful noise and deception-jamming modes and can even be reprogrammed to counter highly-specific anticipated threats.  When asked by the members of the public, I’ve heard a few aircrew explain the basics of the AN/ALQ-184… describing that it works on the principles of nothing less than “magic” and that’s all you need to know!  
    
Fortunately, there’s nothing classified about the external configuration of the pod, details of which are out there in the public domain.  Yet, if included in an injection-molded kit, jamming pods tend to be pretty simplified and inaccurate.  Here, Eduard has released a gorgeous resin-cast AN/ALQ-184 (short version).  It is a single piece resin casting, and the casting block and secondary pour gate are done in such a way to minimize cutting and cleanup.  Thoughtful manufacturing to be sure!

Shape, size, and configuration match up perfectly to my reference photos.  Most surface details are recessed and the recessed panel lines and rivets are delicate and not at all overdone.  Other surface details are appropriately raised.  The set also includes a small decal sheet for stenciling on the AN/ALQ-184 and a four small PE parts to represent small raised panels.   

Overall, this is a great little set, and you cannot go wrong with it.  It is simple and effective.  Just do your research to see where and how the pod was employed on the jet you are modeling, and do note that there have been a few different ways I’ve seen the AN/ALQ-184 painted up over the years.  Also, for those who work in smaller scales, Eduard also offers a version of this set in 1:72 scale.

We extend our sincere thanks to Eduard for the review sample. You can visit them on the web at http://www.eduard.com and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/EduardCompany/

Haagen Klaus
Scale Modeling News & Reviews Editor
Detail & Scale

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Just Released!

JET FIGHTERS
OF THE U. S. NAVY AND MARINE CORPS
PART 1: THE FIRST TEN YEARS
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Detail & Scale Special Edition Books

U. S. Navy and Marine Carrier-Based Aircraft of World War II
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Attack on Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant

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Colors & Markings Series



Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 1: Atlantic
Coast Squadrons
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Colors & Markings of the F-102
Delta Dagger

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Colors & Markings of U. S. Navy
F-14 Tomcats,
Part 2: Pacific
Coast Squadrons

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