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Australia to acquire Growler electronic attack capability

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6 Squadron F/A-18F Super Hornet on the flightline at Fairbairn. An MoD photo.

SYDNEY (BNS): Australia will acquire the Growler electronic warfare system for the Super Hornet at a cost of around $1.5 billion, the Ministry of Defence said.

The purchase of this equipment is being made through the United States Foreign Military Sales process which includes funding to acquire the Growler conversion kits, supporting equipment and systems, spares and training and initial training systems.

The Growlers will be available for operations from 2018. This acquisition will make Australia the only country after the United States to operate the Growler aircraft, the MoD in a statement said.

Growler is an electronic warfare system that gives the Super Hornet the ability to jam the electronics systems of aircraft and land-based radars and communications systems.

The aircraft will provide options for the Air Force to undertake electronic threat suppression operations in support of Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations, including land and sea forces. The Growler can also undertake intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

Australia has 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets - a highly capable, battle proven, multi role combat aircraft - currently in service with the US Navy.

In May 2009, the Australian government announced its decision to wire 12 of 24 Super Hornets for potential conversion to the Growler configuration.

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