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Australia boosts fighting range of Growler electronic attack aircraft fleet

Australian Air Force Growler aircraft upgrades
Australian defense ministry file photo

The Australian defense ministry is investing A$277 million in the upgrade of the Royal Australian Air Force’s EA-18G Growler fleet of electronic aircraft.

The Growler capability is being overhauled through Project AIR 5349 Phase 6 – Advanced Growler – which will bring commonality with US Navy Growlers.

Australian radar company CEA Technologies received the $277 million contract to provide advanced for Australia’s electronic warfare ranges.

The contract will include a number of fixed and portable emitters to support training exercises and strengthen capability across the joint force.

It is the first contract to be awarded under Phase 6, which has an approved budget of more than $2 billion.

The electronic attack aircraft is capable of disrupting, deceiving or denying a broad range of military electronic systems, including radar and communications.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said the project was delivering the leading-edge technology the Air Force needed “to face an increasingly complex and uncertain strategic environment”.

Upgrades envisioned in Project AIR 5349 Phase 6 include the cooperative development of the Next-Generation Jammer weapon system with the United States Navy to gradually replace the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System, aircraft modifications, including sensor upgrades, and anti-radiation missile war stock.

Also included are longer-range and more advanced anti-radiation missiles, enhanced electronic warfare training ranges capability, and facility improvements at Amberley near Brisbane and the Delamere Air training area near Katherine in the Northern Territory.