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Growler Electronic Warfare Aircraft - long lead Item equipment purchase



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Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel - Joint Media Release - Growler Electronic Warfare Aircraft - Long Lead Item Equipment Purchase

29 March 2012

Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare

today announced that the Government would spend more than $19 million to

purchase long lead item electronic equipment for the potential conversion of twelve of

Australia’s F-18 Super Hornet’s to the EA-18G Growler variant.

In 2009, the Government made the decision to wire 12 Super Hornets for potential

conversion to the Growler configuration at a cost of $35 million.

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 Growler electronic warfare aircraft was used very effectively by the

United States Navy during air operations in Libya last year.

The long lead items are systems and equipment that are required for any potential

conversion of Australia’s existing Super Hornets and include:

• Electronic systems;

• Antennas; and

• High Frequency modulation receivers

The decision to purchase this equipment has been made now to ensure Australia

continues to have potential access to the Growler technology. A final decision on

whether Australia converts some of its Super Hornets to Growler configuration will be

made after exhaustive assessment by the Government this year. This purchase

ensures Australia will continue to have access to specific technologies needed to make

any such conversion.

The purchase of this equipment is being made through the United States Foreign

Military Sales process. As part of this process, a Letter of Request formally requesting

the purchase has been delivered to the United States.

If Australia converts some of its Super Hornets to Growler configuration it will be the

only country in the world, other than the United States, operating such aircraft.

Imagery is available at:

http://images.defence.gov.au/fotoweb/Grid.fwx?archiveId=5003=&search=11122537

Media Contacts:

Mr Smith - Ellen Shields 0400 347 473

Mr Clare - Korena Flanagan 0418 251 316

Defence Media Operations - (02) 6127 1999