Wed, Aug 16, 2006
Test Conducted Ahead Of Schedule
Boeing officials told ANN the first production EA-18G Growler
airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft took flight for the first
time Tuesday, approximately one month ahead of schedule.
The first EA-18G -- known as aircraft EA-1 -- successfully
completed its maiden flight from Lambert International Airport in
St. Louis. Boeing F/A-18 chief test pilot Ricardo Traven and chief
weapons system operator Rick Junkin conducted the first flight of
the US Navy's newest AEA aircraft.
"This is a day we've been working toward since 2003," said Bob
Feldmann, vice president, Boeing F/A-18 programs. "To see this
aircraft flying is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but knowing the
effort that so many people put into bringing the EA-18G to this
milestone makes it even sweeter."
EA-1 is the first of two test aircraft built under a System
Development and Demonstration (SDD) contract Boeing signed with the
Navy on Dec. 29, 2003. The aircraft will fly to Naval Air Station
Patuxent River, MD later this year.
In addition to flight testing, it will undergo extensive ground
testing in the Patuxent River anechoic chamber to assess on-board
radar, receiver and jammer compatibility and performance.
A derivative of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G's
design enables warfighters to perform an array of AEA missions,
operating from either the deck of an aircraft carrier or land-based
airfields, according to Boeing. The EA-18G will replace the Navy's
current aircraft carrier based AEA platform, the EA-6B Prowler,
that has been in service since 1971.
The first production Growler will join the Navy's aircraft fleet
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