A report in The Australian says the US Technology, Transfer, Security Assistance, Review Board (TTSARB) has approved the export of technology to Australia for the EA-18G Growler electronic attack variant of the Super Hornet.
The decision, said to have been made in late August, clears the way for the export to Australia of components and software required for the electronic attack mission. Twelve of the RAAF’s 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets are being ‘pre-wired’ and having other necessary modifications made to them that would allow for a relatively quick conversion to a Growler configuration if the government decides this is a requirement in the future.
If the RAAF were to go ahead with a Growler capability it is unlikely it would opt for the full capability to begin with, especially as the ALQ-99 jammer pods currently used by US Navy Growlers and EA-6B Prowlers are no longer in production and are becoming increasingly difficult to support and operationally limited. Rather it will probably build up the capability and concepts of operations from a ‘Growler Lite’ configuration, and then opt for the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) currently under development in the US if that becomes available for export from around 2020.