skip to main content

Australia to upgrade EA-18G Growler fleet

A Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler taxis past a US Air Force F-16 Falcon at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, during Exercise ‘Red Flag 23-1'. The Growler is equipped with three AN/ALQ-99 pods, including one AN/ALQ-99 (low-band) pod in the centreline hardpoint. (Commonwealth of Australia/Samantha Holden)

Australia has announced a programme to upgrade the capabilities of its Boeing EA-18G Growler fleet.

The Australian Department of Defence (DoD) had not responded to a request for comment about the programme at the time of publication. However, in an announcement on 6 February, the Australian government said that the upgrades would comprise the acquisition of new longer-range and advanced anti-radiation missiles, modifications to the EA-18G's sensors, and infrastructural upgrades at the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) airbase at Amberley and at the Delamere Air Training Area in the Northern Territory.

The upgrades also include the planned integration of the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) weapon system on the EA-18G fleet.

According to US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the Australian DoD is collaborating with the US Pentagon and the US Navy on the development of two NGJ systems. This includes the AN/ALQ-249 NGJ Mid-Band (NGJ-MB), which “focuses on the middle frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum”, according to NAVAIR.

This system comprises two pods per shipset, as well as small hardware and software modifications to the EA-18G to enable carriage, communication, and employment.

The second system is the NGJ Low Band (NGJ-LB). This system “uses the latest digital and software-based technologies that address advanced and emerging threats in the lower frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum”, according to NAVAIR.

NAVAIR had not responded to a query for additional information about the jammer at the time of publication.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...