Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA5155 Boeing EA-18G Growler 168386, VAQ-138 "Yellow Jackets", US Navy, 2018

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 2009 VAQ-138 “Yellow Jackets” began to transition to the EA-18G Growler. In 2018 the squadron flew to Nellis AFB for Red Flag 18-2 lasting from March 9th to 23rd. The VAQ-138 call sign is “Rampage”. Upon returning to their home at NAS Whidbey Island, Washington VAQ-138 was sent to Misawa Japan from May through December 2018. One of the squadron’s EA-18G Growlers was 168386 serial G72 NL-510. This aircraft joined the squadron in 2014 and was designated the CAG aircraft in 2015.

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