Home' Air Force News : April 12th 2012 Contents 3
April 12, 2012
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LONG-lead electronic equipment
worth more than $19 million will be
procured for the potential conversion
of Air Force's Super Hornets to the
E/A-18G Growler variant.
The purchase of the Growler elec-
tronic equipment was announced by
Defence Minister Stephen Smith and
Defence Materiel Minister Jason Clare
on March 29.
The announcement follows the
Government's decision in 2009 to wire
12 Super Hornets for potential conver-
sion to the Growler configuration.
A final decision on whether the jets
will be converted will be made later
The long-lead items to be procured
include electronic systems, antennas and
high frequency modulation receivers.
Growler is an electronic warfare
system that gives the Super Hornet the
ability to jam the electronics systems
of aircraft and land-based radars and
CAF AIRMSHL Geoff Brown
welcomed the procurement announce-
ment, saying Growler was a joint capa-
bility "force-multiplier" that would
lower risk in the battlespace.
"I am very passionate about the
support provided by electronic tech-
nologies that expand our capabilities,"
AIRMSHL Brown said.
He said the Growler electron-
ic warfare aircraft was used very
effectively by the US Navy during
Some of the advantages of the
E/A-18G Growler variant:
Suppression of Enemy Air
Defences -- ability to counter
enemy air defences using both
reactive and pre-emptive jam-
Stand-off Jamming -- highly
effective in traditional stand-off
jamming, but with the speed
and agility of a Super Hornet.
Non-Traditional Electronic At-
tack -- dramatically enhanced
situational awareness and
to achieve a higher degree of
integration with ground opera-
Self-protect and Time-Critical
Strike Support -- self-protec-
tion capability with advanced
Electronically Scanned Array
radar, digital data links and
air-to-air missiles, and effec-
tive target identification and
air operations in Libya last year. If
Australia converted some of its Super
Hornets to Growler configuration
it would be the only country in the
world, other than the US, operating
Mr Smith said the decision to buy
the equipment was made to ensure
$19m Growler outlay
Australia continued to have potential
access to Growler technology.
"A final decision on whether
Australia converts some of its Super
Hornets to Growler configuration will
be made after exhaustive assessment
by the Government this year," he said.
"This purchase ensures Australia
will continue to have access to spe-
cific technologies needed to make
any such conversion."
The equipment is being purchased
through the US foreign military sales
process. A letter of request formal-
ly requesting the purchase has been
delivered to the US.
FUTURE GLIMPSE: A US
Navy E/A-18G Growler.
EVEN BETTER: A
laser-guided bomb on
a Super Hornet during
Exercise Faru Sumu
at RAAF Base Darwin
last month... the Rhino
fleet could soon be
better armed with
Photo: LACW Kylie Gibson
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