A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler flies over Afghanistan on Jan. 23, 2020. (Staff Sgt. Matthew Lotz / U.S. Air Force)

A U.S. Navy EA-18G Growler flies over Afghanistan on Jan. 23, 2020. (Staff Sgt. Matthew Lotz / U.S. Air Force)

Growlers are getting upgrades at Naval Air Station Whidbey

The work is part of a five-year effort to improve the jamming capacity of the aircraft.

By Jessie Stensland / Whidbey News-Times

Work has started at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island on a five-year effort to improve the jamming capacity of the EA-18G Growlers, signaling the Navy’s commitment to the future of the aircraft.

Boeing announced earlier this month that the first jet was inducted into “Growler capacity modification” at the air station. It’s the first major effort to upgrade the electronic warfare capabilities of the Growlers, which are currently outfitted with tactical jamming system pods that have been in use since the 1970s, according to the Navy.

The work supports the integration of the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band pods, which are being developed to augment and ultimately replace the current pods, according to Gulianna Dunn, public affairs officer with the Navy’s Program Executive Office for Tactical Aircraft Programs.

“These modifications allow the Growler community to maintain the advantage in the electromagnetic spectrum environment and lay the groundwork for future upgrades to keep the aircraft relevant into the 2040s,” Dunn said in comments to the newspaper.

Growlers are modified versions of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornets and are the backbone of the Navy’s electronic warfare programs, serving “a critical role in jamming radar and communications signals of threat forces, hindering their ability to detect and track U.S. and allied military forces,” according to Dunn.

The new-generation pods are currently undergoing developmental testing on the Growlers and will be initially deployed with fleet Growlers after completion of operational testing, according to Dunn.

In addition to facilitating the new pods, the aircraft will receive modifications to 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 reported.

The modifications will eventually be made on all 160 of the Navy’s Growlers.

“As the world’s premier electronic attack platform, we’re starting this program for the EA-18G Growler in solid partnership with the Navy,” said Mark Sears, Boeing vice president of Fighters & Strike Product Support.

“These modifications will position it to meet the threats of today and those in the future.”

This story originally appeared in the Whidbey News-Times, a sister publication to The Herald.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Vehicles exiting I-5 southbound begin to turn left into the eastbound lanes of 164th Street Southwest on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Traffic backups on 164th Street near I-5 could see relief soon

The county and state are implementing a new traffic signal system that synchronizes the corridor and adjusts to demand.

Rick Winter (left) and Gary Yang, the founders of the former UniEnergy Technologies, stand with one their latest batteries, the Reflex, August 10, 2022. (Dan DeLong/InvestigateWest)
‘Chaotic mess’: Clean energy promises imploded at Mukilteo battery maker

UniEnergy Technologies absorbed millions in public funds, then suddenly went dark. The company is accused of providing tech to China.

Federal funds could pay for Everett bathrooms, gun buyback, more

City officials propose $7.95 million of American Rescue Plan Act money on a shelter, mental health support and more.

Community Transit chief financial officer Eunjoo Greenhouse
Community Transit hires King County staffer as CFO

Eunjoo Greenhouse is set to join the agency Oct. 24 after years in King County government.

Fred Safstrom, CEO of Housing Hope, is retiring. Photographed in Everett, Washington on October 5, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Housing Hope CEO reflects on 25-year career helping unsheltered people

“People used to believe homelessness was caused by bad choices.” Minds and policies are changing, Fred Safstrom said.

The proposed Everett City Council districts map would make small shifts to all five districts based on recent Census data. (City of Everett)
Everett City Council district commission sticks with map

The map is set for council despite pleas for Broadway to split the two northern districts and criticism over the process.

Tanya King, left, looks to where Hailey Newton, right, ask to hang her project Thursday afternoon at Beverly Elementary in Lynnwood, Washington on September 14, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
2 ‘extraordinary educators’ honored nationally for success in classroom

Tanya King in Edmonds practices “controlled chaos.” Zachary Pfrimmer in Stanwood is orderly. Data shows both have been wildly successful.

Cassie Franklin, right, mayor of Everett, introduces a coalition to address public safety concerns Tuesday afternoon at Henry M. Jackson Park in Everett, Washington on October 4, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Mayors: Enough is enough, we want something done for public safety

A coalition of city leaders from Snohomish County is pushing back on policing reforms passed in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Snohomish County deputy on leave, accused of shoplifting at Home Depot

The sheriff’s deputy repeatedly stole merchandise at an Everett store where he worked as security, according to a search warrant.

Most Read