The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified Congress of a possible sale of 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft modification kits to convert F/A-18F aircrafts to the G configuration for Australia.
The estimated $1.7bn foreign military sale (FMS) programme also includes associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support.
The proposed package includes 34 AN/ALQ-99F(V) tactical jamming system pods, 22 CN-1717/A interference cancellation systems, and 22 R-2674(C)/A joint tactical terminal receiver systems.
Additional support requested along with the sale includes 30 LAU-118 guided missile launchers, command launch computer for high speed anti-radiation missiles and advanced anti-radiation guided missile (AARGM).
Also included in the package are spare and repair parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel training and training equipment, as well as logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and programme support.
The package of EA-18G equipment and support is expected to enhance Australia’s capability to combat regional threats and to strengthen homeland defence as part of current and future coalition efforts.
Boeing will serve as prime contractor.
Using both reactive and pre-emptive jamming techniques, the Boeing-built EA-18G Growler is an airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft that is capable of countering enemy air defences.
A derivative of the combat-proven two-seat F/A-18 Hornet, the US Navy’s maritime strike aircraft, the EA-18G Growler can operate from either an aircraft carrier or from land bases.
The Growler aircraft is equipped with digital data links, advanced electronically scanned array radar, and air-to-air missiles to conduct primary missions including electronic attack (EA) and suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD), particularly at the start and on-going early stages of hostilities.
Image: A US Navy’s EA-18G Growler on the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier flight deck. Photo: U.S. Navy photo by Naval Aircrewman 3rd Class Joshua K. Horton.