The US State Department has provisionally approved the sale of an EA-18G Growler Aircraft to Australia, the department notified Congress last week.
According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), the aircraft will be drawn from the US Navy stock to replace the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Growler aircraft lost in a 2018 accident. The replacement aircraft will be modified into a RAAF EA-18G aircraft configuration to join Australia’s fleet of 11 Growlers.
To Compensate for Lost RAAF Aircraft
According to Australian Defence Business Review, the RAAF aircraft accident was due to the failure of “one of the engines’ high pressure turbines,” for which no compensation was offered by the US Navy, manufacturer Boeing, or engine manufacturer General Electric.
The DSCA stated that the $125 million possible sale will include related defense services and equipment, adding that the “proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States.” The agency called it “vital” for US national interests to assist allies in “developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defense capability.”
According to Boeing, the aircraft “provides critical electronic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) data to other joint force aircraft.” The company further states that the aircraft’s APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar system provides enhanced “radar image resolution, targeting and tracking range.”
A major feature of the aircraft is its Interference Cancellation System, which provides “uninterrupted radio communications in a heavily jammed environment.” The aircraft is also equipped with AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles.