ST. LOUIS, Feb. 11, 2009 -- The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] delivered its first EA-18G Growler maintenance trainer to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, Wash., on Nov. 21 -- two weeks ahead of an already tight schedule.
"I'm honored to lead such a complete Integrated Product Team. As usual, they all stepped up and teamed to deliver this important Growler maintenance trainer two weeks ahead of schedule," said Capt. Darryl "Spike" Long, Aviation Training Systems program manager for the U.S. Navy.
The Navy plans to procure 88 carrier-based EA-18G airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft to replace the EA-6B Prowler. Boeing delivered the first fleet EA-18G and an EA-18G aircrew trainer to the Navy's Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129 at Whidbey in June 2008.
The EA-18G Maintenance Trainer (EAMT) is a set of three devices used to train Navy maintenance technicians to support the EA-18G's unique systems, primarily the AEA avionics. The majority of these avionics are installed on a pallet in the gun bay and in two wingtip pods.
"With the Growler aircraft scheduled to become operational in 2009, Boeing's timely delivery of the maintenance trainer is crucial to keeping our warfighters and their aircraft safe," said Mark McGraw, vice president for Training Systems and Services, a division of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems Global Services and Support.
Two of the three EAMT devices are mockups of aircraft hardware: One represents the gun bay and pallet, and the other a wingtip pod. The mockups are used to support training on installation and removal procedures.
The third device in the set, the Visual Environment Maintenance Trainer, consists of a fully replicated cockpit, an instructor/operator station, and two touch-screen displays that provide graphical representations of the aircraft and support equipment. The student interacts with the trainer via the cockpit and displays to test and troubleshoot. The trainer simulates a variety of maintenance situations and provides realistic feedback to students' actions.