A US Navy EA-18G Growler aircraft has completed a five-year-long complex transformation process and successfully conducted a functional check flight (FCF).

The FCF was performed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island on 17 October.

Following this announcement, the refurbished aircraft will soon be transferred to an operational squadron to undertake deployments worldwide.

The US Navy has declared that the refurbished Growler is ready to carry out various flight missions for decades.

The new milestone also marks the culmination of years of efforts made by various teams from different organisations to repair the aircraft.

Currently assigned under Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, the EA-18G Growler aircraft experienced a mid-air collision during a training exercise at NAS Fallon in September 2017.

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According to the US Navy, the Growler aircraft, then attached to VAQ-133, collided with another aircraft assigned under Carrier Air Wing 2.

The damaged aircraft was stationed at NAS Fallon for many years, before an official clearance for repair work was approved in 2021.

Later in February 2021, the aircraft was loaded onto a flatbed truck and transferred to VAQ-129 at NAS Whidbey Island in Washington.

The overall process of repairing this aircraft involved allocation of ‘special rework’ fundings, efforts from several engineers, maintainers and artisans from across the country and over 2,000-man hours.

FRC Northwest depot lead Tommy Moore said: “This was a team effort by personnel from Fleet Readiness Center (FRC) Southeast, FRC Southwest Engineering and my team from FRC Northwest.

“We reassembled the aircraft by replacing all major components and turned the aircraft back over to VAQ-129 as a ‘special rework’ complete on 24 April 2022.”