Growler!

The venerable EA-6B Prowler is winding down its last deployments, while the EA-18G Growler is rapidly replacing it in the fleet.

Boeing is obviously trying to boost sales. And the fact is, only the Navy is pursuing a dedicated Electronic Attack platform. Given the absolute need for dedicated jamming in virtually any air offensive, it’s quite surprising the Air Force has shunned maintaining its own capability. The Marines too are shedding their Prowlers, and given that they’ve already declined the SuperHornet for the F-35B, they’ve similarly decided to forgo the Growler. That’s a decision that is likely to come back to haunt them.

8 thoughts on “Growler!”

  1. Perhaps the AF believes in the stand-off war paradigm strongly enough to not worry about putting aircrew in harm’s way. I am sure that is not the case with the Marines. Possibly they are counting on the advanced countermeasures capabilities (automatic no less) of the F-35. There is much to say for broad versatility within a single aircraft, and the cost savings of minimizing types. But one size fits all never really works completely.

    1. I’d bet the Marines are thinking that if they ever have to go into an environment where EW is necessary they’ll have NAVAIR at their backs.

    2. RE: I’d bet the Marines are thinking that if they ever have to go into an environment where EW is necessary they’ll have NAVAIR at their backs.

      Exactly. After Marine Prowlers providing support for joint service ops for years, the Navy Growlers will do the same for USMC and USAF once the Prowlers are gone.

    3. “(automatic no less)”

      It has to be automatic, the pilot has a few other things to keep him busy. Quite a plane, that F-35; it’s a fighter, it’s a bomber, it does close air support, it does its own EW, its stealthy.
      Why, I’ll bet that a squadron of those things is worth 10 squadrons of any other plane. It’s a good thing, too, because that’s all we are going to be able to afford.
      s

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