The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has delivered the second EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft to the U.S. Navy test site at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Md.
The second EA-18G, known as aircraft EA-2, made the flight from St. Louis to Maryland with U.S. Navy pilot Cmdr. Jack Waters and weapons system operator Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Williams on board. EA-2 is the second of two test aircraft built under a System Development and Demonstration contract Boeing signed with the Navy on Dec. 29, 2003. The first EA-18G, EA-1, currently is undergoing electromagnetic testing in an anechoic chamber at NAS Patuxent River.
"Delivering this aircraft sets the stage for our aggressive flight test program," said Kevin Fogarty, Boeing EA-18G chief engineer. "We already are getting vital information from EA-1 in the chamber, and we look forward to the next step in flight test, where we can use EA-2 to test even more of the capabilities the Growler brings to the AEA community and the Navy."
A derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G‘s highly flexible design enables warfighters to perform an array of AEA missions, operating from either the deck of an aircraft carrier or land-based fields. The EA-18G will replace the Navy's current AEA platform, the EA-6B Prowler, which has been in service since 1971. The first production Growler will join the Navy's aircraft fleet in 2008.
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 will divide EA-18G production across Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Electric and Raytheon manufacturing facilities. The System Design and Development program concludes with an Initial Operational Capability in 2009. Naval Air Systems Command PMA-265 is the U.S. Navy acquisition office for the EA-18G.