More grunt for Growlers

6 February 2023

Vital upgrades to Air Force's fleet of electronic aircraft and associated ranges will strengthen Australia's electronic attack capability.

The EA-18G Growler capability is being overhauled through Project AIR 5349 Phase 6 - Advanced Growler, providing the Air Force with critical world-leading technology.

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 include:

  • 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
  • Anti-radiation missile war stock
  • Longer-range and more advanced anti-radiation missiles
  • Enhanced electronic warfare training ranges capability
  • Facility improvements at Amberley near Brisbane and the Delamere Air training area near Katherine in the Northern Territory

The project will ensure commonality with United States Navy aircraft.

Australian radar company CEA Technologies has been awarded a $277 million contract to provide advanced capabilities 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.

Mr Conroy said the Australian companies would be “involved as much as possible throughout the life of this project”.


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