Defence goes ahead in leaps and bounds
AUSTRALIA’S regional air power dominance is assured with the delivery on Wednesday of the first of 12 RAAF EA- 18G “Growler” electronic warfare jets.
The Boeing- built aircraft was unveiled during a lavish ceremony at the company’s St Louis production plant.
As a brass band belted out patriotic tunes hundreds of guests including recently retired RAAF chief Air Marshal Geoff Brown, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Boeing staff and a large contingent of RAAF officers including Air Combat commander Air Commodore Steve Roberton admired the most expensive Australian fighter jet ever to carry the kangaroo markings.
“It will have the biggest strategic effect on the ADF since the F- 111 in the 1970s,” Air Marshal Brown said.
Taxpayers will fork out about $ 3.7 billion for the dozen planes, weapons, training, life support and the construction of special electronic ranges near Amberley and at Bradshaw south of Darwin.
The US Navy, with 153 of the jets, and the RAAF, will operate what is billed as the world’s most powerful electronic attack fighter jet. The RAAF’s Amberley- based Number 6 Squadron will operate the hi- tech fighters.
The Growler’s electronic weapons can knock out systems from missile radars to mobile phone networks.
DOMINANCE: Air Commodore Steve Roberton with the first Australian EA- 18G
‘ Growler’ jet in St Louis.
ELECTRONIC WARFARE: A new Australian
‘ Growler’ jet.