Australia to buy attrition replacement for lost Growler

US State Department approval has been granted for the possible Foreign Military Sale of a single US Navy (USN) EA-18G Growler to the Government of Australia. The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced the approval on September 20, notifying Congress on the same day of the proposed deal, which has an estimated value of US$125m.

The EA-18G, taken from USN Lot 38 production or later, will be modified into the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) EA-18G aircraft configuration prior to delivery. It will act as an attrition replacement for A46-311, which was damaged beyond repair as a result of an engine fire on take-off from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on January 27, 2018.

Fire damaged RAAF Growler
The extent of damage to Royal Australian Air Force EA-18G Growler A46-311 following its engine fire at Nellis AFB, Nevada, on January 27, 2018, is clearly apparent in this image. A replacement aircraft is now to be ordered to bring the fleet back up to full strength. RAAF

The DSCA states that the sale would include engineering and modification; verification and validation flight test efforts; maintenance and storage; US Government and contractor engineering/technical assistance; related studies and analysis support; plus other related elements of programmatic, technical and logistics support.

The purchase of this aircraft will bring the RAAF Growler fleet back up to its full strength of 12 aircraft. All are operated by No 6 Squadron as part of 82 Wing at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland.