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RAAF faces anxious wait during Growler investigation

growler exercise talisman
An RAAF EA-18G Growler from No 6 Squadron flying to Shoalwater Bay to participate in air operations for Exercise Talisman Saber 2017. Image via Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence.

Fears are mounting within Defence that an Australian RAAF EA-18G Growler could be written off after the aircraft caught fire at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada during Exercise Red Flag.

Fears are mounting within Defence that an Australian RAAF EA-18G Growler could be written off after the aircraft caught fire at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada during Exercise Red Flag.

Defence confirmed one of the four Growlers deployed on the exercise caught fire after an aborted take off on Saturday.

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"Defence can confirm an incident involving an EA-18G Growler at Nellis Air Force Base during Exercise Red Flag," Defence said in a statement.

"Royal Australian Air Force personnel are safe and no serious injuries have been sustained. Defence is currently working with the United States Air Force to investigate and will provide an update with further details once known."

Nellis Air Force Base public affairs unit also gave a statement on Saturday, stating the cause of the incident is unknown and under investigation, but the worst case scenario could result in the electronic attack aircraft being a write off.

The Growler is based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet airframe and fitted with additional avionics, enhanced radio frequency receivers, an improved communications suite and radio-frequency jamming pods

Twelve of Australia's Growlers are based at RAAF Base Amberly. Defence was planning to achieve initial operational capability by early 2018. Each of the jets are roughly estimated to have cost $300 million each.

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RAAF faces anxious wait during Growler investigation
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