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Australia to replace lost Growler

Australia will again field 12 Growler electronic attack aircraft, now that a loss replacement platform has been approved by the US. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

A Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft that caught fire and suffered serious damage during an aborted take-off in 2018 is to be replaced.

The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced on 30 September that a single Growler will be sold to Australia for USD125 million, bringing the RAAF's fleet back up to 12 aircraft.

โ€œThis proposed sale will allow Australia to effectively maintain its current force projection capability that enhances interoperability with US forces well into the future and maintain their original primary level of aircraft authorised. This aircraft would replace Australia's EA-18G A46-311 aircraft lost in an accident at Nellis Air Force Base [AFB],โ€ the DSCA said.

The lost Growler from 6 Squadron was one of four that had deployed to Nellis AFB in Nevada from their homebase of RAAF Amberley, Queensland, in January 2018. The fire on take-off destroyed the aircraft, although both crew members escaped without injury.

The RAAF is set to declare full-operating capability for its Growlers in 2022.

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