Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA5153 EA-18G Growler 168772, VAQ-131 "Operation Inherent Resolve"

In order to replace their aging EA-6B Prowlers the USN acquired a specialized version of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler. The Growler is an advanced airborne electronic attack aircraft capable of tactical jamming and electronic protection. The first EA-18G Growler flight took place in August 2006 with the first USN production aircraft being delivered to VAQ129 in June 2008. After operational capability testing full production of the EA18G Growler began in late 2009. In 2010 VAQ-132, 138 and 141 were re-equipped with the Growler.

In 2017 the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush was stationed in the Arabian Gulf in support of Operation Inherent Resolve. The OIR mission was to strike the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria by flying hundreds of sorties, destroying enemy positions with smart ordnance. VAQ-131 “Lancers” was onboard to carry out airborne electronic attack missions. VAQ-131 re-equipped with the EF-18G Growler in 2014 and during OIR flew 1,890 hours completing 270 combat sorties. EA-18G 168772 was the personal aircraft of the squadron CAG, AJ500.

Specifications for the EA-18G Growler
Role - carrier-based electronic warfare aircraft
Crew – 2 X Pilot and WSO
Dimensions
Length – 60.2 ft (18.3 m) Height – 16 ft (4.9 m) Wingspan - 44.9 ft (13.7 m)
Weight
Empty – 33.094 lb (15,011 kg) Maximum Takeoff – 66,000 lb (29,964 kg) Recovery – 48,000 lb (21,772 kg)
Performance
Powerplants – 2 X General electric F414-GE400 Turbofans Thrust Dry – 14,000 lbf (62.kN) per engine With afterburners – 22,000 lbf (97.9 kN) per engine Internal fuel – 13,940 lb (6,323 kg) External fuel – 3 X 480 gal tanks (9,774 lb) (4,420 kg) Maximum Speed – Mach 1.8 (1,190 mph, 1,900 kph) @ 40,000 ft (12,190 m) Range – 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) Ferry Range – 1,800 nmi (2,070 km) Service Ceiling – 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
Armament
Hardpoints – 9 X 6 under wings, 3 X under fuselage Capable of carrying – 17,750 lb (8,050 kg) external fuel and ordnance 6 under wing hardpoints capable of carrying a combination of Fuel tanks AN/ALQ-99 Jamming Pods as well as other numerous pods and sensors AGM-88 HARM missiles AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles Wingtip pods – AN/ALQ-218 detection pods