First production EA-18G 'G-1' (166855) takes
maiden flight with Boeing pilot Greg Bigalk
and Boeing weapon systems officer Dana Perkins
aboard on 9/10/07.
Photo: Kevin Flynn
9/25/2007 - ST. LOUIS -- Boeing has delivered the
first production EA-18G Growler to the U.S. Navy ahead
of schedule and within budget.
"The Growler team put together a program plan
that...has remained on cost and schedule, while
meeting or exceeding all performance parameters. I
don't get to say that very often about our programs,"
said The Hon. Delores Etter, assistant secretary of
the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition,
during the delivery ceremony at Boeing Integrated
Defense Systems facilities in St. Louis. "We have a
great start to a total procurement of over 80 Gs,
which will operate in our fleet for decades to come."
The U.S. armed forces' newest airborne electronic
attack (AEA) aircraft combines the Super Hornet's
proven airframe and mission systems with a
next-generation airborne electronic attack suite. By
using the Super Hornet airframe, the EA-18G program
and the Navy can leverage the existing capabilities
and known reliability and maintainability
characteristics of the F/A-18E/F to provide an
advanced AEA platform at a fraction of the cost and
time of a completely new aircraft. Unlike the two
aircraft already in flight test, the EA-18G Growler
delivered today was entirely assembled and tested on
the same production line as the existing F/A-18E/F
"We're very proud today to follow the Super Hornet
tradition of delivering on our promises," said Bob
Gower, Boeing vice president of F/A-18 programs. "We
made a very ambitious promise to our customer in 2003
that we would deliver this aircraft, built on the same
line as our Super Hornets, by the end of 2007. We've
not only met those promises; our team has found a way
to meet every challenge and deliver a cost-effective,
incredibly capable product, ahead of schedule."
"Since the rollout in August of '06, the first
flight, the software, the flight testing, it's all
coming on time, which is a tremendous boon in my
world," said U.S. Navy procurement chief Rear Adm.
Kenneth Floyd, director, Aviation and Aircraft Carrier
Plans and Requirements. "We're glad to have it, and
once we get it out in the fleet, we're going to be
flying this thing in ways that nobody ever thought
possible. A good day for the Navy, a good day for the
nation, and I think the only people that might be
having a bad day are the people that end up on the
business end of this thing's capacity."
The aircraft, dubbed G-1, will join the flight test
program at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.,
before entering fleet service. The Growler is expected
to complete flight testing in 2008, followed by
initial operational capability in 2009.
Boeing, acting as the weapon system integrator and
prime contractor, leads the EA-18G Growler industry
team. Northrop Grumman is the principal subcontractor
and airborne electronic attack subsystem integrator.
The Hornet Industry Team divides EA-18G production
across Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Electric and
Raytheon manufacturing facilities. Naval Air Systems
Command PMA-265 is the U.S. Navy acquisition office
for the EA-18G.
Source: Boeing Press Release