Aussie Growler fleet now complete

Australia’s fleet of 12 EA-18G Growlers is now complete with the last two aircraft arriving at RAAF Base Amberley this morning.

CAPTIONLeading Aircraftwoman Aimee-Rose Carter and Leading Aircraftman Fletcher Moulton perform routine checks on a newly arrived EA-18G Growler at No. 6 Squadron, RAAF Base Amberley. Photo by Corporal Brenton Kwaterski.

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.

Australia is the only country outside the United States operating the EA-18G Growler and fleet completion represents a significant leap forward in capability.

Minister for Defence Marise Payne and Air Commander Australia Air Vice Marshal Steven Roberton today welcomed the full fleet of EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to RAAF Base Amberley.

Since the first two Growlers arrived in Australia in February this year, the fleet has now grown to the full 12 aircraft.

Minister Payne said the arrival of the Growler provided a potent and technologically advanced new capability for the Australian Defence Force.

“The full fleet arrival represents a significant leap forward in joint electronic warfare capability,” Minister Payne said.

“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.

“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.

“The arrival affirms the government’s commitment to maintain our capability edge and prepare for the more complex and high-tech conflicts of the future.”

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,” Air Marshal 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.

“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. We have also had the graduation of the first Operational Transition course.

“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.”

The Growler is based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet airframe and fitted with additional avionics, enhanced radio-frequency receivers, an improved communications suite and radio-frequency-jamming pods that enable it to jam enemy systems.

It will provide a complementary capability to the F/A-18F Super Hornet and the F-35A Lightning II.

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Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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