The Boeing EA-18G Growler is an Electronic Attack variant of the Super Hornet that has the ability to disrupt or jam a range of military electronics systems, including radars and communications systems.Growler is an airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft which operates from either an aircraft carrier or from land-bases. The Growler has been developed as a replacement for the United States Navy EA-6B Prowler aircraft which entered service in 1971 and is approaching the end of operational life.
The two-seat cockpit has the pilot crew station and the electronic warfare officer's advanced crew station. The advanced crew station ‘s displays have tactical aircraft moving map capability (TAMMAC). The aircraft is fitted with a helmet-mounted cueing system. The HMCS provides 'first look, first shot' high off-bore sight weapons engagement capability.
The system enables the pilot to accurately direct or cue the weapons against enemy aircraft while performing high-g maneuvers. The pilot points his head at the target and weapons are directed to the target. Aircraft and mission data such as targeting cues and aircraft performance parameters are displayed directly on the pilot's visor.
The EA-18G's ALQ-218 wideband receiver combined with the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System will be effective against any radar-guided surface-to-air threat. The ALQ-218 combined with the ALQ-99 form a full spectrum electronic warfare suite that is able to provide detection and jamming against all known surface-to-air threats. However the current pods will be inadequate against emerging threats. With its Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, digital data links and air-to-air missiles, the EA-18G will have self-protection capability and will also be effective for target identification and prosecution.
Growler possesses a communications receiver and jamming system that will provide suppression and electronic attack against airborne communication threats.
The advanced tactical radar, the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar provides air-to-air and air-to-ground capability with detection, targeting, tracking and protection modes.
The interleaved radar modes include real beam-mapping mode and synthetic aperture radar mode with air-to-air search, air-to-air tracking, sea surface search and ground moving target indication and tracking. The radar has an advanced four-channel receiver-exciter which provides wide bandwidth capability and the ability to generate a wide range of waveforms for electronic warfare, air-to-air and air-to-ground operation. It also has the ability to operate in multiple air-to-air and air-to-ground modes simultaneously.
The EA-18G Growler is a separate, but complementary, capability for the F/A-18F Super Hornet and the future F-35A (Joint Strike Fighter).
The aircraft is armed with the AIM-120 AMRAAM advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles and AGM-88 HARM high-speed anti-radiation missiles.
Specifications (EA-18G Growler)
- Crew : Two
- Height : 16 ft (4.88 m)
- Empty weight : 33,094 lb (15,011 kg)
- Loaded weight : 48,000 lb (21,772 kg) (recovery weight)
- Max. takeoff weight : 66,000 lb (29,964 kg)
- POWERPLANT: 2 × F414-GE-400 turbofans
- Dry thrust: 14,000 lbf (62.3 kN) each
- Thrust with Afterburner: 22,000 lbf (97.9 kN) each
- Maximum speed : Mach 1.8 at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
- Range : 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) clean plus two AIM-9s
- Thrust/weight : 0.93