Growling Over the Growler

U.S. Navy, Pentagon Debate EA-18G Growler

While the U.S. Navy has continued to make improvements to its F/A-18 electronic attack variant — the EA-18G Growler — the service has yet to prove the aircraft is suitable for operations, says a recent report by the Pentagon’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E).

DOT&E considers it “effective,” meaning it works, but “not suitable,” meaning it is not a practical solution. The Navy disagrees, says it’s both effective and suitable, and claims that the shortcomings the DOT&E found are outside of scope. Software trouble seems to be the biggest issue.

I believe that the only operational EA-18Gs are in the electronic warfare training squadron VAQ-129 that was mentioned Monday with the picture of the oldschool paint jobs.

Meanwhile, the Prowler keeps on prowling. When the A-6 retired, the Navy suffered because the F-18 doesn’t have all of its capabilities. Now the EA-18 is having issues displacing the EA-6.