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US to deploy Growler electronic attack aircraft to Germany

Six Growler aircraft and 240 personnel will deploy from NAS Whidbey Island in Washington to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany to bolster NATO's collective defence posture. (US Navy)

The United States will deploy the Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack (EA) aircraft to Germany to bolster NATO's collective defence posture.

Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby announced the deployment on 28 March, saying that six Growlers from the US Navy's Electronic Attack Squadron 134 (VAQ-134) will transfer from Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island in Washington to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany. The aircraft, along with 240 personnel, are scheduled to arrive on 29 March.

“The purpose of this deployment is to bolster readiness, enhance NATO's collective defence posture, and further increase air integration capabilities with our allied and partner nations,” Kirby said. “They are not being deployed to be used against Russian forces in Ukraine. They are being deployed completely in keeping with our efforts to bolster NATO's deterrence and defence capabilities along that eastern flank. The deployment is not in response to a perceived threat or incident,” he added.

Based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet airframe, the Growler is a dedicated EA platform designed to detect and jam enemy radar systems via its AN/ALQ-99 electronic warfare (EW) suite, with the option to destroy such sites with the AGM-88 High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM).

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