EA-18G “Growler” Approved for Full-Rate Production

The military times magazines note that the US Navy has approved full-rate production of the EA-18G Growler.  The EA-18G is a highly modified variant of the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet designed for electronic attack rather than conventional air-to-air or air-to-ground roles.  The Growler will primarily be used to jam enemy radars and perform other similar electronic missions rather than perform strike or air defense sorties.  However, the aircraft will retain some offensive weapons capabilities.

The Growler name was a combination of the aircraft the EA-18 was designed to replace (the EA-6B Prowler), the fact that this was the “G” variant, and a large dose of fighter pilot humor that amazingly slipped by the censors (likely because it was a Navy, rather than Air Force, program–the Air Force still calls the F-16 a Fighting Falcon, while pilots call it the Viper).  Admittedly, the Navy also named a submarine the USS Growler, which was supposedly named after a black bass.