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Monday, November 28, 2016

DND Confirms: RCAF Not Looking to Acquire EA-18G Growlers

By: David Pugliese, Defence Watch 

As the dust settles after last week’s announcement that Canada would buy 18 Super Hornet fighter jets, Defence Watch readers have raised an interesting question.

Will any of those 18 aircraft be EA-18G Growlers?

A variant of the Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler provides tactical jamming and electronic protection. If Canada were to acquire those type of aircraft – or at least some to be part of that 18-plane order – then that would be a truly game-changing development.

The Royal Australia Air Force has gone that route. Boeing was awarded the contract for 12 Growlers to be acquired by the RAAF under a foreign military sales agreement with the U.S. Navy. In July of 2015, Boeing and the U.S. Navy turned over the first EA-18G Growler to Australia. (Australia is the first country other than the U.S. to obtain this aircraft, Boeing noted.)

The Growlers are to enhance the RAAF’s current fleet, which includes 24 Super Hornets, Boeing pointed out.

Image result for ea-18g
EA-18G at Whidbey April 2007
So will Canada take the plunge?

The official word from the Department of National Defence is no. None of the 18 Super Hornets will be a Growler variant; just the “vanilla” type of Super Hornet aircraft.

An opportunity wasted perhaps?