Boeing on 25 September delivered the first of 90 planned EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to the US Navy.
The first aircraft - named “G1” - was accepted by Delores Etter, assistant secretary of the navy for research, development and acquisition, at a delivery ceremony at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems' headquarters in
“The Growler team has remained on cost and schedule, while meeting or exceeding all performance parameters,” said Etter.
However, she also released a statement that appeared to downgrade the number of EA-18Gs that the navy intends to buy. The service's original plans called for buying a fleet of 90 aircraft, derived from Boeing's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter.
“We have a great start to a total procurement of over 80 Gs, which will operate in our fleet for decades to come,” Etter said.
Flight testing of the EA-18G is expected to conclude during 2008, with the aircraft scheduled to achieve initial operational capability in 2009, when it will begin to replace the USN's Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowlers.