EA-18 Growler: Aircraft profile

Search aircraft:

Custom Search

Tagged:  •    •    •    •    •  

Recognizing the utility and versatility of the Super Hornet, the Navy is modifying the F/A-18F to perform the airborne electronic attack (AEA) mission currently being flown by the EA-6B Prowlers.

EA-18G Growler - flight: Patuxent River, Md. (Aug. 2, 2006) - A new era in Naval Aviation begins with the first EA-18G Growler aircraft.EA-18G Growler - flight: Patuxent River, Md. (Aug. 2, 2006) - A new era in Naval Aviation begins with the first EA-18G Growler aircraft.

In December 2003, the Navy received approval to enter the Systems Development and Demonstration phase of an acquisition program to modify the F/A-18F, to be known as the EA-18G. The EA-18G will serve as the Navy's replacement for the aging fleet of EA-6Bs providing a capability to detect, identify, locate and suppress hostile emitters.

The EA-18G will provide enhanced connectivity to national, theater and strike assets and provide organic accurate emitter targeting for employment of onboard suppression weapons such as the High-Speed Anti- Radiation Missile.

The EA-18G will be a missionized F/A-18F airframe coupled with the integration of AEA systems that include the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System pods, ALQ-218 Receiver, ALQ-227 Communication Countermeasures Set Receiver and the Multimission Advanced Tactical Terminal.

EA-18G Growler: Patuxent River, Md. (Aug. 2, 2006) - A new era in Naval Aviation begins with the first EA-18G Growler aircraft. The EA-18 Growler is being developed to replace the fleet's current carrier-based EA-6B Prowler. The next-generation electronic attack aircraft, for the U.S. Navy, combines the combat-proven F/A-18 Super Hornet with a state-of-the-art electronic warfare avionics suite. The EA-18G will feature an airborne electronic attack suite based on Northrop Grumman's Improved Capability III system, a radically new jamming and information warfare system. The EA-18G is expected to enter initial operational capability in 2009. U.S. Navy photoEA-18G Growler: Patuxent River, Md. (Aug. 2, 2006) - A new era in Naval Aviation begins with the first EA-18G Growler aircraft. The EA-18 Growler is being developed to replace the fleet's current carrier-based EA-6B Prowler. The next-generation electronic attack aircraft, for the U.S. Navy, combines the combat-proven F/A-18 Super Hornet with a state-of-the-art electronic warfare avionics suite. The EA-18G will feature an airborne electronic attack suite based on Northrop Grumman's Improved Capability III system, a radically new jamming and information warfare system. The EA-18G is expected to enter initial operational capability in 2009. U.S. Navy photo

The name "Growler" was approved in October 2005. Production of the first two EA-18G development aircraft began in 2004. The first aircraft resembling the EA-18G took off on March 30, 2006 when a Super Hornet from VX-23, with the ALQ-218 pods on the wingtips, began flight test at NAS Patuxent River, Md. with all of the external configurations to conduct flying qualities, loads and flutter testing.

During a ceremony at its St. Louis, Missouri plant on August 4, 2006 Boeing rolled out EA-1, the first production Growler. EA-1's first flight occurred on August 15, 2006. The aircraft was delivered to the Navy at PatuxentRiver on September 22, 2006. EA-2 is scheduled to arrive at PatuxentRiver in November 2006.

The first fleet EA-18G delivery is scheduled for 2008, with an initial operating capability in 2009. The Navy has a requirement for 90 EA-18Gs.

The EA-18G will retain the physical characteristics of the F/A-18F. Because of the high commonality between the EA-18G and the F/A-18F, airborne performance is projected to be very similar to the F/A-18F.

Source: US Navy

EA-18G Growler: WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (April 9, 2007) - EA-18G Growler is parked on the airfield next to an EA-6B Prowler. The EA-18G Growler landed at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Ishland for the first time. The EA-18 Growler is being developed to replace the fleet's current carrier-based EA-6B Prowler. The next-generation electronic attack aircraft, for the U.S. Navy, combines the combat-proven F/A-18 Super Hornet with a state-of-the-art electronic warfare avionics. The EA-18G is expected to enter initial operational capability in 2009. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bruce McVicarEA-18G Growler: WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (April 9, 2007) - EA-18G Growler is parked on the airfield next to an EA-6B Prowler. The EA-18G Growler landed at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Ishland for the first time. The EA-18 Growler is being developed to replace the fleet's current carrier-based EA-6B Prowler. The next-generation electronic attack aircraft, for the U.S. Navy, combines the combat-proven F/A-18 Super Hornet with a state-of-the-art electronic warfare avionics. The EA-18G is expected to enter initial operational capability in 2009. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bruce McVicar

Detailed background:

Source: wikipedia.org

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is a carrier-based electronic warfare version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet. It began production in 2007 and is slated for fleet deployment in 2009. The EA-18G will replace the US Navy's EA-6B Prowler.

Development

An electronic attack version of the F/A-18F, the EA-18G Growler will replace EA-6B Prowlers in service with the US Navy. An F/A-18F "F-1" was re-fitted with ALQ-99 electronic-warfare system, and successfully completed an initial flight demonstration of the EA-18 Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) concept aircraft flight on 15 November 2001.

The first EA-18G test aircraft went into production in 22 October 2004. The EA-18G had a public rollout on 3 August 2006. The first test aircraft, known as EA-1 made its initial flight in St. Louis on 15 August, 2006, and ferried to the US Navy's Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland (Pax River) on 22 September 2006. EA-1 primarily supports ground testing in the Air Combat Environment Test and Evaluation Facility (ACETEF) anechoic chamber. The second aircraft, known as EA-2 first flew on 10 November 2006, and was delivered to NAS Patuxent River on 29 November 2006. EA-2 is an AEA flight test aircraft, initially flying on Pax River's Atlantic Test Range (ATR) for developmental test of the AEA system before transitioning to the Electronic Combat Range (ECR, or 'Echo Range') in Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California. Both aircraft are assigned to VX-23 "Salty Dogs". There were five Growlers flying in the flight test program as of June 2008.

EA-18G Growler: WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (April 9, 2007) - An EA-18G Growler lands at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island for the first time. The Growler is being developed to replace the fleet's current carrier-based EA-6B Prowler. The next-generation electronic attack aircraft for the U.S. Navy, combines the combat-proven F/A-18 Super Hornet with state-of-the-art electronic warfare avionics. The EA-18G is expected to enter initial operational capability in 2009. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bruce McVicarEA-18G Growler: WHIDBEY ISLAND, Wash. (April 9, 2007) - An EA-18G Growler lands at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island for the first time. The Growler is being developed to replace the fleet's current carrier-based EA-6B Prowler. The next-generation electronic attack aircraft for the U.S. Navy, combines the combat-proven F/A-18 Super Hornet with state-of-the-art electronic warfare avionics. The EA-18G is expected to enter initial operational capability in 2009. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Bruce McVicar

EA-1 and EA-2 are F/A-18Fs F-134 and F-135, pulled from the St. Louis production line and modified by Boeing to the EA-18G configuration. However, since they were not built initially as Growlers, the Navy has designated these two test aircraft as NEA-18Gs.

In an April 2006 report, the United States Government Accountability Office expressed concerns. The GAO felt the electronic warfare systems on the EA-18G were not fully mature so there is risk of "future cost growth and schedule delays". The report recommends that the DOD consider purchasing additional ICAP III upgrades for EA-6Bs to fill any current and near-term capability gaps and restructure the initial EA-18G production plans so that procurement takes place after the aircraft has "demonstrated full functionality".

The U.S Navy has ordered a total of 57 airplanes to replace its existing EA-6B Prowlers in service, all of which will be based at NAS Whidbey Island save for Reserve Squadron VAQ-209 based at NAF Washington, MD. The US DoD gave approval for the EA-18G program to begin low-rate initial production in 2007. Full-rate production is to begin in 2008.

The EA-18G is scheduled to finish flight testing in 2008, then earn initial operational capability in 2009. The Navy is planning to buy approximately 85 aircraft in order to equip 11 squadrons. The first Growler for fleet use was officially accepted by VAQ-129 "Vikings" at NAS Whidbey Island, on 3 June 2008. The first deployable EA-18G squadron is slated to be VAQ-132 "Scorpions", with its Initial Operational Capability (IOC) status expected in 2009.

In 2008 the Australian Government requested export approval from the US government to purchase EA-18Gs. If this approval is granted Australia may buy up to six EA-18Gs, which are to be part of the order for 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets.

Design

The flight performance of the Growler is similar to that of the F/A-18. This attribute enables the Growler to perform escort jamming as well as the traditional standoff jamming mission. Growlers will be able to accompany F/A-18s during all phases of an attack mission.

The Growler has more than 90% in common with the standard Super Hornet, sharing airframe, AESA radar and weapon systems such as the AN/AYK-22 Stores Management System. Most of the dedicated airborne electronic attack equipment is mounted in the space that used to house the internal 20 mm cannon and on the wingtips. Nine weapons stations remain free to provide for additional weapons or jamming pods. The added electronics include AN/ALQ-218 wideband receivers on the wingtips, and ALQ-99 high and low-band tactical jamming pods. The ALQ-218 combined with the ALQ-99 form a full spectrum electronic warfare suite that is able to provide detection and jamming against all known surface-to-air threats.

The EA-18G can be fitted with up to five ALQ-99 jamming pods and will typically add two AIM-120 self-defense missiles and two AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation (HARM) missiles. The EA-18G will also use the INCANS Interference Cancellation system that will allow voice communication while jamming enemy communications, a capability not available on the EA-6B.

In addition to the radar warning and jamming equipment the Growler possesses a communications receiver and jamming system that will provide suppression and electronic attack against airborne communication threats.

EA-18G Growler: A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler aircraft descends to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Aug. 1, 2008, at sea in the Atlantic Ocean during carrier qualifications. The EA-6G is the Navy's newest aircraft, designed as a replacement for the EA-6B Prowler. (DoD photo by Sean Seremet/Released)EA-18G Growler: A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler aircraft descends to land on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN 69) Aug. 1, 2008, at sea in the Atlantic Ocean during carrier qualifications. The EA-6G is the Navy's newest aircraft, designed as a replacement for the EA-6B Prowler. (DoD photo by Sean Seremet/Released)

Boeing is looking into other potential upgrades; the ALQ-99 radar jamming pod may be replaced in the future, and the company is looking into adding weapons and replacing the satellite communications receiver.

Operators

United States

* United States Navy

o VAQ-129
o VAQ-132 (planned, IOC in 2009)

Specifications (EA-18G Growler)

General characteristics

* Crew: Two
* Length: 60 ft 1.25 in (18.31 m)
* Wingspan: 44 ft 8.5 in (13.62 m) (including wingtip-mounted pods)
* Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
* Wing area: 500.00 ft² (46.45 m²)
* Empty weight: 30,564 lb (13,864 kg)
* Loaded weight: 47,000 lb (21,320 kg) (in fighter configuration)
* Max takeoff weight: 66,000 lb (29,900 kg)
* Powerplant: 2× General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans
o Dry thrust: 14,000 lbf (62 kN) each
o Thrust with afterburner: 22,000 lbf (98 kN) each
* Internal fuel capacity: 14,000 lb (6,350 kg)
* External fuel capacity: (5 x 480 gal tanks): 16,380 lb (7,430 kg)

Performance

* Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1,190 mph, 1,900 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
* Range: 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) clean plus two AIM-9s
* Combat radius: 390 nmi (449 mi, 722 km) for interdiction mission
* Ferry range: 1,800 nmi (2,070 mi, 3,330 km) (range without ordnance)
* Service ceiling >50,000 ft (15,000 m)
* Wing loading: 92.8 lb/ft² (453 kg/m²)
* Thrust/weight: 0.93

Armament

* Guns: None (refer to notes below)
* Hardpoints: 9 total: 6× under-wing, and 3× under-fuselage with a capacity of 13,700 lb (6,215 kg) external fuel and ordnance

o Notes: The two wingtips missile launcher rail for AIM-9 Sidewinder, found on the E/F Super Hornet, have been replaced with AN/ALQ-218 detection pods, 6 removable under wing mounted hard points (inboard pylons will carry 480 gal fuel tanks, mid-board pylons will carry AN/ALQ-99 High Band Jamming Pods, and outboard pylon reserved for AGM-88 HARM missiles), 2 multi-mode conformal fuselage stations (AIM-120 AMRAAM), 1 centerline fuselage removable hardpoint, for AN/ALQ-99 Low Band Jamming Pod.

+ Weapons employment: Currently, Phase I of the Growler will carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM for self-protection at the two conformal fuselage stations and AGM-88 HARM missiles. The 20 mm M61A1 cannon has been removed and replaced by a pod of electronic boxes that control the AN/ALQ-218 and assist with the coordination AN/ALQ-99 jamming attacks.

+ According to the possible weapon configurations which were revealed, EA-18G would also be capable of performing "time-sensitive" strike missions, carrying AGM-154 JSOW under wings, or multi-sensor reconnaissance missions with SHARP and AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR on centerline and left conformal weapon stations, respectively.,

Avionics

* APG-79 radar

More photos: EA-18 Growler photo gallery

Search aircraft:

Custom Search

Airshow calendar