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Boeing EA-18G Growler to Advance to Full Rate Production

1st December 2009 - 12:12 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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The Boeing EA-18G Growler was approved to advance into Full Rate Production (FRP) by the US Department of Defense (DOD) on Nov. 23.

The St. Louis-based EA-18G program now can proceed from Low Rate Initial Production to FRP quantities of approximately 20 aircraft per year.

"Full Rate Production for the EA-18G is critical, as it enables Boeing to quickly ramp up production of the US Navy's newest and most advanced airborne electronic attack (AEA) platform, and rapidly get this new capability to the warfighter," said Bob Gower, F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs vice president for Boeing. "The FRP decision is also a clear indication of DOD support for the EA-18G program and the immediate capability it will provide Combatant Commanders around the world."

The EA-18G achieved Initial Operational Capability as planned in September with US Navy electronic attack squadron VAQ-132, based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.

The EA-18G's highly flexible design enables warfighters to perform an array of AEA missions, operating either from the deck of an aircraft carrier or from land-based fields. It is the only airborne platform that delivers full-spectrum electronic attack capability, along with targeting and self-defense capabilities derived from the Navy's frontline strike fighter, the F/A-18E/F Block II Super Hornet. The new aircraft is replacing the Navy's current AEA platform, the EA-6B Prowler, which has been in service since 1971. The Growler joined the Navy's aircraft fleet in 2008.

Boeing, acting as the weapon system integrator and prime contractor, leads the EA-18G Growler industry team, which also includes Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and General Electric Aircraft Engines.

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