Skip to comments.The End Of An Era: The Transition From The Prowler To The Growler
Posted on 04/25/2012 10:02:30 AM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
The End Of An Era: The Transition From The Prowler To The Growler
By David Parker Brown, on April 25th, 2012 at 4:45 am
An EA-18G Growler sits at NAS Whidbey. Photo by Alex Jossi.
I grew up knowing the Navys EA-6B Prowler very well my father flew them for about 20 years. The aircraft was made tough, but all planes need to be replaced sooner or later. Recently, the Navy has started the transition from the EA-6B Prowler to the FA-18 based EA-18G Growler. Reader Alex Jossi had the opportunity to do some photography of the new Growler and was willing to write up a story on the aircraft. Here is his story in his own words:
Thanks to a friend and local aviation photographer, a handful of us guys were able to take photos at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. It was a treat to get some of the CAG birds, many of which have already been retired in the five weeks since we made the trek up north from the Portland area. I have it on pretty good hunch that they had us photograph those particular Prowlers for a reason. It was like saying goodbye to an old friend. But all good things eventually come to an end. For those of you who may not know, CAG birds are aircraft for a unit with special paint jobs, either on the entire aircraft itself or a special design on the tail. Typically, but not always, these aircraft are flown by the commander of the unit for which the aircraft belongs to. Similar terms for CAG birds include: Show Bird, Easter Egg, Boss Machine, and Head Nuts.
An older EA-6B that is being phased out. Photo by Alex Jossi.
The United States Navy is
(Excerpt) Read more at airlinereporter.com ...
Interesting that the Growler’s canopy does not appear to be coated with Gold. Anyone know the reason why? Perhaps a different reflective material is used, or that one isn’t required anymore?
The concerns about radiation exposure to the crew that existed when the Prowler was being developed have become moot. Canopy cost is a factor as well.
I love the WWII paint schemes!
Those were applied to commemorate the Centennial of Naval Aviation.
Oh okay.. I guess the next conversation would be classified. LOL Thanks.
I was with a Q squadron, Plane Captain.... they had 8 squadrons for 12 carriers, we were always out to sea... whidbey is a damn beautiful place, although a bit isolated..
I am going to my the Sky Pig, no matter how many times she tried to kill me and the crew...
My beloved Corps will get what the Navy sluffs off so we can inject some life into our fleet of Prowlers. The only issue the Growler will continue to have is the transmitters being used are still the same technology as was used in Viet Nam. The physics has not changed but the companies willing to develop rx/tx equipment is slim and the profit margin is even slimmer. The new birds are amazing but the things they will be flying against are even more so.
You obviously haven't looked inside one of the pods in a very long time, if ever.
I think the main issue with the Growler is the same as that for all F/A-18 variants: range/endurance. The Prowler could stay aloft a long time. The Growler’s capability in that regard has to be made up for by more frequent in-flight refueling.
I am somewhat curious about going from 4 crewmembers to 2. Looks like 1 will be doing what 3 used to do. I suppose automation and computer processing speeds have enabled that do be done without significant issues.
I preferred the EF-111, but did a tour in the Flying Drumstick as well. Miss the 111, but don’t miss the Drumstick...
Depends on who you talk to. ECMOs who have flown in the Prowler have complained about the workload and transition; steep learning curve. ECMOs who have enterred into the VAQ community directly to the Growler, not so much but they don't have anything to compare it to.
In some missions the workload was acceptable, but the workload for performing radar and communications jamming for missions with modified escort profiles was close to exceeding aircrews abilities to maintain required functionality or effectiveness.