First Production EA-18G Growler Delivered
The aircraft, dubbed G-1, was first flown on September 10, 2007. The aircraft will join the Growler flight test program at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., before entering fleet service. The Growler is expected to complete flight testing in 2008, followed by initial operational capability in 2009.
The EA-18G Growler is the airborne electronic attack (AEA) derivative of the F/A-18F Super Hornet and will replace the EA-6B Prowler, which has been in service since 1971. Two test aircraft were built under a System Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract Boeing signed with the U.S. Navy on Dec. 29, 2003. The first EA-18G, known as aircraft EA-1, was rolled out on August 3rd and first flown on August 16th, 2006. The second EA-18G (EA-2) made its maiden flight on November 10, 2007. They joined the U.S. Navy test program on September 22 and November 28 respectively.
Unlike the first two aircraft, the EA-18G G-1 delivered yesterday was entirely assembled and tested on the same production line as the existing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.
Boeing, acting as the weapon system integrator and prime contractor, leads the EA-18G Growler industry team. Northrop Grumman is the principal subcontractor and airborne electronic attack subsystem integrator. The Hornet Industry Team divides EA-18G production across Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Electric and Raytheon manufacturing facilities. Naval Air Systems Command PMA-265 is the U.S. Navy acquisition office for the EA-18G.