External Fuel & Ordnance:
$74.4 million (est.)
GE F414-GE400 turbofans
2 x 22,000 lbs.
60 ft. 0 in.
44 ft. 8 in.
The EA-18G Growler, produced by Boeing, is an FA-18F Super Hornet that has been modified for electronic warfare. It has replaced the U.S. Navy’s EA-6B Prowler aircraft which have been deployed since 1971.
Only about ten percent of the EA-18G Growler differs from the Super Hornet. The EA-18G Growler has had the space taken by the Super Hornet’s cannon replaced with electronics warfare equipment. The Growler’s gun bay typically holds Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) pods while its hard points hold AEA pods and two anti-radiation missiles. Its wingtips are equipped with additional AEA pods and wide-band receivers. AEA avionics include selective and preemptive jamming, electronic suppression, plus communication threats attack.
Five U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler aircraft flew sorties over Libya in 2011 while enforcing the United Nations no fly zone.
Nov. 27, 2019: The Naval Air Systems Command awarded Boeing US$24,068,180 for “34 Group A-1 retrofit kits, 34 Group A-2 retrofit kits, and 34 Group B retrofit kits for incorporation of the Distributed Targeting Processor-Network into the EA-18G Growler aircraft for the U.S. Navy”. Work is expected to be completed by June of 2022.
Feb. 5, 2020: Boeing announced that during recent U.S. Navy Warfare Development Command’s annual fleet experiment exercises, two autonomously controlled, unmanned EA-18G Growler aircraft conducted four flights while being controlled by a third EA-18G Growler aircraft.
According to Boeing, “The flights were intended to prove that F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers can effectively run combat missions using unmanned systems. This demonstration allows Boeing and the Navy the opportunity to analyze the data collected and decide where to make investments in future technologies. It could provide synergy with other U.S. Navy unmanned systems in development across the spectrum and in other services.
This technology allows the Navy to extend the reach of sensors while keeping manned aircraft out of harm’s way. It’s a force multiplier that enables a single aircrew to control multiple aircraft without greatly increasing workload. It has the potential to increase survivability as well as situational awareness.”
Some 150 EA-18G Growler aircraft have been produced to date.
Australia has received total of twelve EA-18G Growler aircraft to date, one of which was subsequently destroyed in a fire. The aircraft are operated by No. 6 Squadron based at RAAF Base Amberley.