Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA5154 Boeing EA-18G Growler 166856, VX-9 "Vampires", US Navy, 2008

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 EA-18G Growler began in late 2009. In 2010 VAQ-132, 138 and 141 were re-equipped with the Growler.

In 2006 the second built EA-18G 166856 made its first flight and then was delivered to China Lake wearing a basic grey paint with the markings NJ VAQ-129 numbered 552. Not long after, the aircraft was transferred to VX-9 Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine, (AIRTEVRON NINE) more commonly known as “Vampires” and in August 2008 was given a new paint scheme and wearing XE-572. On November 17, 2008 the air craft had an engine fire and landed safely.

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