The Boeing’s EA-18G Growler is an electronic attack fighter specially designed to the task of jamming—and potentially destroying—hostile radars that could guide deadly surface-to-air missiles against friendly aircraft. This mission is known as Suppression of Enemy Air Defences (SEAD). Basically, if a modern air force wants to attack an adversary with significant antiaircraft defences, it needs an effective SEAD game to avoid insupportable losses.
The EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft is armed with two AGM-88 high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMs) and two AIM-120C AMRAAM air-to-air missiles. The aircraft is fitted with two Northrop Grumman ALQ-218(V)2 wingtip pods with a wideband receiver and selective reactive jamming capability.
Two ALQ-99 low-band and high-band jammer pods manufactured by EDO Corporation are fitted under the wings. The tactical jamming system can intercept, process and jam signals received from enemy radar and communications systems.
Antennae on-board the aircraft include a satellite communications (SATCOM) antenna and a communication countermeasures set (CCS) antenna, which transmits signals through the low-band ALQ-99 jammer pod.
The aircraft also features APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, SATCOM terminal, INterference CANcellation System (INCANS), antenna interface unit (AIU), and a long-baseline interferometer. The INCANS is used to improve situational awareness and communication capability and offers UHF communications capability during ALQ-99 jamming.
The aircraft has a maximum speed of 1,960km/h and can fly at an altitude of 50,000ft.
The US Navy has already tested unmanned versions of the EA-18G Growler electronic attack fighter. The tests involved a single manned EA-18G controlling two unmanned versions of the same aircraft, opening up the possibility that the EA-18G Growler could fly armed unmanned aircraft sooner than originally thought.
The test, conducted by the U.S. Navy and Boeing, was undertaken by the U.S. Navy’s flight test wing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. According to a C4ISRNET, a single EA-18G Growler controlled two unmanned Growlers in the air.
Unmanned aircraft will almost certainly be an important weapon in the Navy’s arsenal for future missions. And the EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft is best which can be converted from a manned aircraft to an unmanned aircraft in near future.