Aero India: Boeing raises “Growler Lite” idea

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What do you call an EA-18G Growler without a jammer?

a) Growl-less

b) Meowler

c) Growler Lite

Boeing is going with option C.

As my colleague Andrew Doyle exclusively reveals from Bangalore today, Boeing is proposing the Growler Lite for certain export customers that won’t be allowed to buy the ALQ-99 jamming pod.

The details are still sketchy, but Ihere’s my best guesses for the EA-18G configuration (see bottom-middle box in graphic above).

I’m guessing it still comes with the ALQ-228 ICAP-III suite and Raytheon communications antenna for situational awareness. Presumably, HARM or AARGM missiles could still be an option. The interference cancellation (ICANS) system would be redundant without a jammer on board, so it’s scratched.

Even without the ALQ-99, the EA-18G Lite may still have a limited jamming capability. The AESA radar in the nose could eventually be used as a jammer for X-band transmitters, assuming the US Navy continues to fund the software upgrade and the State Department clears it for export.

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2 Responses to Aero India: Boeing raises “Growler Lite” idea

  1. ELP 13 February, 2009 at 8:55 pm #

    The Block II F as-is, has enough avionics to do some geo-locating to do some legacy SEAD/DEAD.

    The 99s in a Growler vs. a modern S-300 threat in depth could get overwhelmed and shot down.

    Remember that when the Navy was trying to get funding for the next gen jammer some years ago (before it got cancelled) that they briefed the 99s as not being able to stand up to future threats and that they were too “legacy”. This was part of the upsell for the Next Gen Jammer. In the end the Navy had to bite the bullet because of no dinero and put 99s in the Growler.

    Since we are still using 99s, exporting them isn’t a good idea. Lets see if the next gen jammer receives enough funding again for full fielding of the product into a real squadron.

  2. Royce 16 February, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    It’s unusual that a country with such a close technical relationship with Russia will be getting access to so much advanced U.S. equipment. No worries over technology transfer?

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