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COMMENT: US Navy deploys EA-18G Growler

February 22nd, 2011 by David No Comments

The US Navy has deployed its EA-18G Growler aircraft for the first time, according to Boeing. The deployment, presumably supporting operations in Afghanistan, comes after the updated fourth generation fighter aircraft was first sent to US Navy squadrons in 2008.

The EA [electronic attack] aircraft is the new version of the combat-tested F/A-18 Hornet fighter / attack aircraft, which has seen service in successive versions with US Navy aircraft carrier squadrons since 1983.

US Air Force and US Navy budgetary constraints on delivery numbers for the next generation of US F-22 and F-35 fifth generation fighter aircraft programmes are making it is more likely that aircraft types already in service, such as the Super Hornet, will continue to be updated for decades to come.

Boeing says the EA-18G is the only air combat platform to delivers full-spectrum airborne electronic attack (AEA) capability, adding fourth generation capabilities to the well-worn targeting and defence capabilities of the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet.

Boeing says the aircraft is a derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Block II, and maintains the ability operate from the decks of aircraft carrier or from airfields.

The EA-18G is replacing the US Navy’s current AEA platform, the veteran EA-6B Prowler, which has been in service since 1971.

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