The US Navy’s EA-6B Prowler tactical jamming aircraft has completed its final flight from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island as part of a sunset celebration commemorating the retirement of the aircraft.
CVWP commander captain Darryl Walker said: "We’ve sunset our last navy Prowler with VAQ 134, so the entire community will now be transitioned to the EA-18G Growler.
"It’s really spectacular to see the community grow into the fantastic airplane, the EA-18G Growler."
The event does not mark the end of the Prowler’s service with the US force, as the US Marine Corps is planning to keep the aircraft flying from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina through 2019.
Based on the A-6 Intruder aircraft, EA-6B Prowler is a long range, all-weather electronic attack aircraft that is capable of detecting, identifying and disrupting enemy air defence radar system and related communications systems in support of airstrikes.
The first Northrop Grumman-built aircraft in this series entered service at NAS Whidbey Island in January 1971 and deployed to Vietnam in 1972.
The Prowler’s successor, the Growler aircraft, is a derivative of the two-seat F/A-18 Hornet and is used to conduct electronic attack (EA) and suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD).
Entered service in 2009, the aircraft is capable of operating from either an aircraft carrier or from land bases, the Growler aircraft is armed with AIM-120 advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles and AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missiles.
Image: The US Navy’s last operational EA-6B Prowler lifts off from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. Photo: courtesy of Edgar Mills, Northrop Grumman.