Boeing EA-18G Growler Review, Top Speed, Unit Cost, Manufacturer – Boeing’s EA-18G is an Electronic Warfare Aircraft (EWA) based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter.
Boeing EA-18G Growler Review, Top Speed, Unit Cost, Manufacturer
|Type||Boeing 737 AEW&C (Wedgetail)|
|Unit Cost||$ 68 million|
|Year of Development||2009|
|Engine||Two General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofan engines, 22,000 lb-ft each, with afterburners|
|Top Speed||181 mph (1900 km/h)|
MilitaryEzyInfo.com – Boeing’s EA-18G Growler was designed and developed to take over the role of the U.S. Navy Grumman EA-6B Growler, an Electronic Warfare Aircraft (EWA).
The Growler, which has been in service for decades and has participated in a number of significant conflicts, evolved from the original Grumman A-6 Intruder carrier-based attack aircraft.
The U.S. Navy has long used the proven aircraft in critical EWA roles, providing a cost-effective solution to critical battlefield requirements.
The Growler, based on the production version of the F/A-18F Super Hornet Block II, is designed to take over the EWA role from the Prowler for the duration of the new century by using the latest jamming software and aerial equipment to blind enemy air defenses.
Boeing was the main manufacturer of the Growler, but Northrop and General Electric, which was responsible for the engines, also cooperated. The Growler is available for use by the US Navy’s VAQ-129, VAQ-130, VAQ-132, VAQ-135, VAQ-137, VAQ-138, and VAQ-141 squadrons.
Controlling air defense networks has long been a concern of war planners. Since the advent of military aviation, beginning with World War I, ground artillery has been used correspondingly to effectively destroy approaching enemy squadrons.
In World War II, the use of radar and ground artillery became increasingly sophisticated with the development of munitions design and rudimentary computers.
During the Cold War, missile technology was at the forefront of the air defense network, and in order for special attack aircraft to penetrate enemy airspace and attack targets, they needed to have sufficient countermeasures to subdue or completely destroy this network.
This led to the emergence of the EWA platform, whose primary mission is to suppress or destroy air defense targets using special equipment and weapons, and to provide jammers to blind the enemy during combat operations.
This type of aircraft proved devastatingly effective against large airstrike formations in the Gulf War, the precursor to true “digital” warfare. Grumman’s EA-6B Prowler has served the U.S. Army well for decades, and now the newest Growler will be deployed to replace it.
The unique versatility of the Super Hornet allows it to provide electronic protection while also escorting allies in special attacks into enemy territory.
The new demonstrator, based on the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter, made its first flight in November 2001. The U.S. Navy liked it so much that it signed a contract with Boeing in December 2003, and development began in 2004. Two evaluation aircraft, EA-1, and EA-2 were then built and various stages of testing were conducted.
The first flight of an actual EA-18G Growler was recorded on August 15, 2006, followed by the delivery of the first mass-produced Growler in 2007. On June 3, 2008, VAQ-129 Fleet Training Squadron at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, took delivery of the Growler.
In August 2008, the ship successfully completed sea trials on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight. Eisenhower In May 2009, testing and initial operational evaluation were completed, and the ship was officially deployed to the US Navy inventory on September 22, 2009.
The U.S. government plans to begin full-scale production in November 2009, with the first samples (up to 46) expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
The Growler is currently in production and has been delivered to the US Navy Group. The first production run will deliver approximately 58 Growlers, which will add at least 114 Growlers to the U.S. Navy’s inventory over the next few years.
On September 28, 2010, Boeing received an order from the U.S. Navy for 66 Super Hornets and 58 Growlers, with deliveries of these airliners scheduled for 2012 through 2015.