Australia completes EA-18G Growler fleet
July 10, 2017
The final tranche of Boeing-built EA-18G Growlers have been delivered to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), completing Australia’s fleet of the most advanced airborne electronic attack platforms.
At a rain-soaked ceremony at RAAF Base Amberley near Brisbane, Minister for Defence Marise Payne said the arrival of the Growler provides a potent and technologically advanced new capability for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).
“This is an amazing achievement for the ADF. These aircraft are able to support the full spectrum of Defence missions, including operations with coalition partners,” Minister Payne said. “The EA-18G Growlers will work with Army and Navy to deliver a networked joint force able to manoeuvre and fight in the electromagnetic spectrum.”
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies said he was extremely proud of all the personnel who have worked on this project both in Australia and overseas.
“The delivery of this capability shows what our Defence Force members are capable of alongside our US counterparts,” Davies said. “The US Navy has been very generous in their training of our aircrew and maintenance teams, and we have cemented our reputation as credible coalition partners. Through our partnership with the US Navy, we are already planning to keep Growler at the forefront of electronic attack capability throughout the life of the aircraft.”
Speaking of the two Growlers positioned behind her at the ceremony, Boeing Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific President Maureen Dougherty said, “They are certainly a sight to behold, a visible testament to the power of partnerships and innovation and the positive result of an experienced, dedicated government and industry team on both sides of the Pacific who remained laser-focused on delivering this capability on-time and on-budget.”
“Working together with the RAAF, our Growler industry team, including Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Electric, will continue that dedication by supporting the crews to complete their missions and come home safely,” said Dougherty.
Australia is the only country outside the United States operating the EA-18G Growler and fleet completion represents a significant leap forward in RAAF capability. The EA-18G Growler is an electronic attack aircraft capable of providing force level electronic warfare support by disrupting, deceiving or denying a broad range of military electronic systems, including radars and communications. According to Air Marshal Davies, Australian Growlers have already conducted successful weapon firings and integration flights with RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets and US Navy EA-18G Growlers as part of Operational Test and Evaluation.
Boeing Defence Australia will work side-by-side with industry partners, the F/A-18 program, and the United States Navy to enhance capability, support mission readiness and reduce costs for the RAAF.