Boeing has started a five-year modification program for the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler fleet which includes providing them with electronic attack capability.

The service inducted the first modernized jet at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island last week.

“We’re excited to have the Growler industry team here working on capabilities that will bring the fleet enhanced electronic surveillance, enhanced data link and the ability to carry the Next Generation Jammer pod,” said Capt. Chris “Needles” Bahner, commander, Electronic Attack Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet. “We look forward to being a cooperative partner with PMA-265 and PMA-234 at Naval Air Systems Command and the Growler industry team on this exciting work.”

Following contract awards in October 2020 and February 2021 for materials and labor, the modification work includes various upgrades for Growler mission systems. The aircraft’s ALQ-218 receiver system will receive the Airborne Electronic Attack System Enhancements modification, enabling the Growler to operate in increasingly complex electromagnetic environments.

Additional modifications will expand the Growler’s information pipeline for more rapid and secure data transfer to other aircraft and platforms as well as substantially improve the speed of data processing. Boeing also will prepare the Growler for the Next Generation Jammer, which greatly improves the Growler’s electronic attack capability.

The program schedule forecasts that all Navy Growlers will be modified in five years. Full rate modification is expected to start in June 2021.

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