RAAF Growlers to make Red Flag debut

written by australianaviation.com.au | January 23, 2018

Four RAAF Growlers are bound for Red Flag. (Paul Sadler)

The Royal Australian Air Force will deploy four EA-18G Growlers to Red Flag 18-1 at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas, the first overseas exercise deployment for the new electronic attack aircraft.
The Growlers, from Amberley-based 6SQN, will be joined from January 29 to February 16 by an E-7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft and an AP-3C Orion, plus a control and reporting centre element from 41WG. In all some 340 RAAF personnel will participate in the exercise.
“Every year the RAAF is invited to participate in Red Flag, we gain so much as an organisation in terms of how we train and also how we operate as a deployed force in a multi-national environment,” Deputy Exercise Director and RAAF Task Group Headquarters Commander, GPCAPT Tim Alsop said in a January 22 statement.
“The Growlers’ overseas deployment to a multi-national exercise of this scale, a mere year after having been transferred to 6SQN, is an important milestone for both Air Combat Group and RAAF.”
The AP-3C, meanwhile, despite its maritime ISR origins, has been used extensively overland in recent conflicts.
“During the exercise, participants will practice planning and executing day- and night-time missions, using large numbers of aircraft and ground systems, coordinated to overcome a considerable simulated adversary,” GPCAPT Alsop said.
“This includes a range of air power roles for RAAF personnel, from air superiority and strike; and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance to electronic warfare. It provides a comprehensive training environment for aircrew, maintenance and support personnel alike.”
The will again be deploying an AP-3C and E-7A to Red Flag. (Defence)

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11 Comments

  • Josh James

    says:

    Farewell Orion, hello Growler. Top stuff! Does anyone know what the noseart on the Wedgie is? I’m assuming something to do with 2 Squadron’s centenary.

  • Paul

    says:

    What a great environment for the Growler to play in. A very unique skill set the RAAF has got! Go get em!

  • PAUL

    says:

    I’m sure other larger nations attending Red Flag are going to be a bit envious of this capability… The next Pitch Black will also be interesting, its a bit like getting the F111 capability years ago which others didn’t have. Unsure why the ADF didn’t invest in the Sparkvark back then also.

  • Tomcat Terry

    says:

    Has there been any progress with the RAAF getting access and kits for the next gen jammers or is that yet to be negotiated with the US?

  • Mick C

    says:

    Tomcat Terry
    Australia is helping the US develop the next gen Jammers, so yes we will have access.

  • Paul

    says:

    Tomcat, they are working on the next generation jammer as far as I believe, but when it will be ready is anyone’s guess. Not to far away I think. Sorry I’ve been slack in that area for a while.

  • Craig

    says:

    We contributed I think $250m towards the jammer development.

  • Paul

    says:

    Craig, that’s right we did. This will give our 35 fleet an awesome edge. I pity the poor assets that go up against them ?

  • Daryl

    says:

    Just seeing reports of a fire in one of the growlers after an abort. Brakes ???

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