The delivery of Australia’s full complement of 12 Boeing EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack aircraft to RAAF Base Amberley has been marked with a ceremony at the base on Friday.
“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,” said Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Leo Davies.
“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, operated by Amberley-based 6 Squadron, is capable of providing force-level electronic warfare support by disrupting, deceiving or denying a broad range of electronic systems, including radar and communications systems.
“We are the only country outside the United States operating the EA-18G Growler, and the full fleet arrival represents a significant leap forward in joint electronic warfare capability,” said Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne.
“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 aircraft is based on the Super Hornet airframe and fitted with additional avionics, enhanced radio frequency receivers, an improved communications suite and radio frequency jamming pods.
The RAAF’s first EA-18G was rolled out in a ceremony at Boeing’s St Louis facility in July 2015. The aircraft were originally placed into storage until being delivered to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington State, where 6 Squadron trained on the aircraft alongside the US Navy.
The first Growlers arrived in Australia in February.