Australia is to purchase long-lead items for the “potential conversion of 12 of the RAAF’s F/A-18 Super Hornets to the EA-18G Growler variant”, Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare announced today.
In a statement the ministers stressed that no Growler acquisition decision has been made yet, but that the $19 million purchase of items including electronic systems, antennas and high-frequency modulation receivers kept the option open.
“The decision to purchase this equipment has been made now to ensure Australia continues to have potential access to the Growler technology. A final decision on whether Australia converts some of its Super Hornets to Growler configuration will be made after exhaustive assessment by the government this year. This purchase ensures Australia will continue to have access to specific technologies needed to make any such conversion,” the statement reads.
“The purchase of this equipment is being made through the United States Foreign Military Sales process. As part of this process, a Letter of Request formally requesting the purchase has been delivered to the United States.”
Twelve of Australia’s 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets have been pre-wired for potential conversion to the Growler configuration.