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US approves Growler sale to ADF

US approves Growler sale to ADF

Australia’s request to replace a damaged EA-18G Growler has been formally approved by the US State Department.

Australia’s request to replace a damaged EA-18G Growler has been formally approved by the US State Department.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has confirmed the sale of a Boeing-built US Navy EA-18G aircraft to Australia for an estimated US$125 million ($170.8 million).

Once delivered, the USN EA-18G is set to be modified by the Royal Australian Air Force, joining the bespoke EA-18G Growler fleet.

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The deal also includes:

  • engineering and modification;
  • verification and validation flight test efforts;
  • maintenance and storage;
  • US government and contractor engineering/technical assistance; and
  • related studies and analysis support.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States,” the DSCA stated.

“Australia is one of our most important allies in the Western Pacific. The strategic location of this political and economic power contributes significantly to ensuring peace and economic stability in the region.

“It is vital to the US national interest to assist our ally in developing and maintaining a strong and ready self-defence capability.

The electronic warfare aircraft has been bought to replace Australia’s EA-18G A46-311 aircraft, which was damaged following an accident at Nellis Air Force Base, Las Vegas, in 2018.

The Growler caught fire during Exercise Red Flag after an aborted take-off.

US government officials and defence contractors are expected to visit Australia on a temporary basis to provide technical oversight and support services.

[Related: RAAF Growlers arrive for Exercises Red Flag Alaska]

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