The U.S. Navy said it was pleased with the results of a test that put three extra Boeing Co EA-18G electronic attack jets on the deck of an aircraft carrier in late May and early June, an exercise that could underpin future orders of the jets.
“The exercise went very well. We gained a deeper understanding of the incredible value of the EA-18G Growler and how to best employ its capability, and increased capacity, from the flight deck of our aircraft carrier,” said Commander Jeannie Groeneveld, spokeswoman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s naval air force.
Groeneveld said the Navy was still reviewing lessons learned from the exercise, which took place aboard the USS Carl Vinson off the coast of southern California. The test came at a time when Boeing is lobbying U.S. lawmakers to add orders for the planes and keep its St. Louis production line open past 2016.
With the greatly increased numbers of effective radar guided surface to air missiles worldwide, bumping the size of EA-18G squadrons from five to eight aircraft would be a very good idea, especially given how few aircraft of all types are currently deployed on US carriers.
That’s to say nothing about the fact that virtually any US Air Force air campaign will also require support from the Navy’s Electronic Attack community.