(22 Mar 2021)
Boeing has started a five-year modification program
for the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler fleet with the induction of the
first jet at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island.
The modifications are focused on updating the
jets’ structural and mission systems architecture, enabling future
capability growth for the Navy’s 160 Growler aircraft.
Growlers, a specialized version of the two-seat
F/A-18F Super Hornet, serve a critical role in jamming radar
and communications signals of threat forces, disabling their
ability to detect and track U.S. and allied military forces.
“We’re excited to have the Growler industry team
here working on capabilities that will bring the fleet enhanced
electronic surveillance, enhanced data link and the ability to
carry the Next Generation Jammer pod,” said Capt. Chris “Needles”
Bahner, commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “We
look forward to being a cooperative partner with PMA-265 and
PMA-234 at Naval Air Systems Command and the Growler industry team
on this exciting work.”
Following contract awards in October 2020 and
February 2021 for materials and labor, the modification work
includes various upgrades for Growler mission systems.
aircraft’s ALQ-218 receiver system will receive the Airborne
Electronic Attack System Enhancements modification, enabling the
Growler to operate in increasingly complex electromagnetic
Additional modifications will expand the Growler’s
information pipeline for faster and more secure data transfer to
other aircraft and platforms as well as substantially improve the
speed of data processing.
Boeing will also prepare the Growler for
the Next Generation Jammer, which greatly improves the Growler’s
electronic attack capability.
“As the world’s premier electronic attack
platform, we’re starting this program for the EA-18G Growler in
solid partnership with the Navy,” said Mark Sears, Boeing vice
president of Fighters & Strike Product Support. “These
modifications will position it to meet the threats of today and
those in the future.”
The program schedule forecasts that all Navy
Growlers will be modified in five years. Full rate modification is
expected to start in June 2021.
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