Additional Growler Airplanes Critical to Pentagon’s Airborne Electronic Attack Goals
ST. LOUIS–(ENEWSPF)–April 14, 2014. U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) today toured the St. Louis Boeing facility that manufactures EA-18G Growler airplanes and called on Congress to provide funding for the Growler program, which the Pentagon says is key to the military’s airborne electronic attack mission.
“As a former intelligence officer in the Navy Reserve, I know how essential the Growler is to maximizing our military’s electronic warfare capabilities and maintaining our technological edge,” Senator Kirk said. “I will be working with my colleagues to ensure the St. Louis Boeing plant continues to provide this critical platform for military preparedness.”
The President’s fiscal year 2015 budget request did not include funding for additional Growler airplanes, but on April 1, 2014, the Chief of Naval Operations sent a letter to Congress requesting funds for 22 additional Growlers. The additional planes would enhance the U.S. Navy’s airborne electronic attack capabilities and reduce risk in Joint Force operations by increasing carrier-borne squadron size from 5 to 7. The Navy currently has 138 Growlers, which provide jamming capability to air and ground forces in all branches of the military.
The Boeing plant in St. Louis employs thousands of workers, including 2,000 workers from Illinois. Fulfilling the Navy’s request for an additional 22 Growlers will keep the EA-18G line open through 2017. If the additional fighters are not ordered, the line will close in 2016.