View Full Version : The EA-18G ,behind the scenes

10-12-2009, 03:27 PM
The EA-18G

The first EA-18G Growler squadron has been certified as operational, marking the latest milestone in the exceptionally rapid transition that will replace all EA-6B Prowlers by 2012. Originally targeted for fiscal 2010, the Growlers Sept. 22 certification was earlier than expected.

The first squadron: The five planes of Electronic Attack Squadron 132, known as the Scorpions, are based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash., and are expected to deploy for the first time with the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson. A deployment date has not been announced. It is the first of 12 operational squadrons to stand up during the next three years.

Capability: The supersonic Growler is much faster than the subsonic Prowler it replaces. It also has air-to air missiles and nine external pods, compared with the Prowlers five.

That means it can carry more air-to ground missiles, electronic warfare pods and external fuel tanks.

Fewer NFOs: A two-seat jet, the Growler replaces an aircraft that carries a crew of one pilot and three naval flight officers. The training pipeline has already begun to reduce the flow of NFOs into the fleet.

Demand: Combatant commanders have stepped up demand for electronic attack aircraft in Iraq and Afghanistan. Traditionally designed to jam enemy radar and sophisticated anti-aircraft systems, the EA community has forged new missions for asymmetrical counterinsurgencies by countering roadside bombs that often use radio-based detonators and blocking insurgents cell phone communications.

Aka Grizzlies: On the radio and on carriers, the Growler will be known as the Grizzly.The official nickname Growlers sounded too much like Prowler,and aviation officials want to avoid any confusion. The name will be used similarly to Rhino,the radio moniker for F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets.