Military Aviation

Boeing, US Navy Fly 2 Growlers Like Drones from The Back Seat of a Third EA-18G

The test showed ability of F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler pilots to remotely control fighter and attack platforms from the cockpit.

Boeing and the US Navy successfully flew two autonomously controlled EA-18G Growlers at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River as unmanned air systems using a third Growler as a mission controller for the other two.

The flights, conducted during the Navy Warfare Development Command’s annual fleet experiment (FLEX) exercises, proved the effectiveness of technology allowing F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers to perform combat missions with unmanned systems.

“This demonstration allows Boeing and the Navy the opportunity to analyze the data collected and decide where to make investments in future technologies,” said Tom Brandt, Boeing Manned-UnManned Teaming demonstration lead in the company news release. “It could provide synergy with other US Navy unmanned systems in development across the spectrum and in other services.”

Over the course of four flights, 21 demonstration missions were completed.

“This technology allows the Navy to extend the reach of sensors while keeping manned aircraft out of harm’s way,” Brandt said. “It’s a force multiplier that enables a single aircrew to control multiple aircraft without greatly increasing workload. It has the potential to increase survivability as well as situational awareness.”

The EA-18G Growler is the most advanced airborne electronic attack (AEA) platform and is the only one in production today. A variant of the combat-proven F/A-18F Super Hornet, the Growler provides tactical jamming and electronic protection to US military forces and allies around the world. Industry and the US Navy continue to invest in advanced Growler capabilities to ensure it continues to protect all strike aircraft during high-threat missions for decades to come.

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. EA-18G Growler VAQ-130 Zappers, AC500 / 168268 / 2016

U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Larry E. Reid Jr./Released

Gabriele Barison

Gabriele Barison is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Co-Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. He has flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

Video features former Viggen pilot explaining how JA-37 fighter jocks could achieve radar lock on SR-71 Blackbird Mach 3 spy planes

JA-37 Viggen fighter jocks achieving radar lock on SR-71 Blackbird Mach 3 spy planes The… Read More

21 hours ago

USAF McDonnell Douglas YC-15 pilot recalls AMST program failing to replace the C-130 Hercules

McDonnell Douglas YC-15 Vs Boeing YC-14 The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) YC-15 was a four-engine… Read More

2 days ago

“Wild Weasel sighted SAM site—Destroyed same.” The story of Wild Weasel’s First Kill

The F-100F Wild Weasel After the single-seat, supersonic F-100 fighter entered service in 1954, it… Read More

2 days ago

USAF predicted a six-year U-2 development plan but thanks to CIA spymaster Richard Bissell and Lockheed Aircraft engineer Kelly Johnson it was deployed in slightly over a year

Richard Bissell Richard Bissell, the senior Government official who took responsibility for the Central Intelligence… Read More

3 days ago

Photos show Wright-Patterson AFB and US Air Force Museum damaged by tornado

Wright-Patterson AFB and US Air Force Museum damaged by tornado On Feb. 28, 2024 Wright-Patterson… Read More

3 days ago