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

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Marysville
1 pedestrian dead after car crash on I-5 south of Marysville

Around 5 p.m., a car crashed into a pedestrian along I-5. Investigators believed a man had parked on the shoulder to refuel.

FILE - A person walks near the Legislative Building, Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington's redistricting commission failed to meet its deadline and on Tuesday, Nov. 16, kicked the job of creating new political maps to the state Supreme Court. The bipartisan commission had a deadline of 11:59 p.m. Monday to approve new boundaries for congressional and legislative districts following the 2020 census. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Do Snohomish County lawmakers want a 2020 presidential rematch?

The Herald contacted seven Republican legislators representing parts of Snohomish County about their primary choice. Five did not respond.

A man walks by Pfizer headquarters, Friday, Feb. 5, 2021, in New York. Pfizer will spend about $43 billion to buy Seagen and broaden its reach into cancer treatments, the pharmaceutical giant said. (AP Photo / Mark Lennihan, File)
Pfizer backs out of Everett manufacturing plant after $43B Seagen deal

Pfizer finalized the acquisition of the Bothell-based cancer drug developer in December.

Photo provided by 
Economic Alliance
Economic Alliance presented one of the Washington Rising Stem Awards to Katie Larios, a senior at Mountlake Terrace High School.
Mountlake Terrace High School senior wins state STEM award

Katie Larios was honored at an Economic Alliance gathering: “A champion for other young women of color in STEM.”

A view of one of the potential locations of the new Aquasox stadium on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 in Everett, Washington. The site sits between Hewitt Avenue, Broadway, Pacific Avenue and the railroad. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
20 businesses could be demolished for downtown Everett stadium

Some business owners say the city didn’t tell them of plans for a new AquaSox stadium that could displace their businesses.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

Firefighters respond to a report of a smoke alarm going off in the 100 block of West Main Street in Monroe on Monday morning. Fire officials confirmed the fire was coming from living quarters above Good Brewing Co. (Provided by Snohomish County Regional Fire and Rescue).
Fire damages apartment above Monroe brewery

Good Brewing Co. on West Main Street was listed as permanently closed Monday.

Tom Ceurvorst picks up his food order at Big Chicken on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Free ice cream Wednesday for Shaq’s birthday at Big Chicken in Mukilteo

Sign a card for the NBA Hall of Famer and restaurant founder. Shaquille O’Neal turns 52 on March 6.

A table setting inside the Grouchy Chef on Sunday, March 3, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Mukilteo’s one-of-a-kind Grouchy Chef is hanging up his apron

Takayuki Masumoto, “who absolutely brooks no nonsense from his patrons,” is looking for a buyer. Name not included.

Flowers for slain trooper Chris Gadd begin to collect outside Washington State Patrol District 7 Headquarters on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Police: Lynnwood man consumed cannabis, beer before crash into trooper

Trooper Chris Gadd, 27, was stopped along I-5 when he was hit and killed early Saturday. Troopers suspect Raul Benitez Santana was impaired.

Madi Humphries, 9, Rose Austin, 13, and Eirene Ritting, 8, on Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024 in Bothell, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
No grades, no teachers: Inside a Bothell school run by student vote

Each day at The Clearwater School, 60 students choose their own lessons. It’s one vote per person, whether you’re staff or student.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.