EA-18G Growler Vs The FA-18 Super Hornet, What Are The Differences?
US Navy FA-18 Super Hornet
The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a multi-role fighter aircraft based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The Super Hornet is a twin-engine, carrier-capable aircraft just like the Hornet and much larger and more advanced than the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Super Hornet is about 20% larger and 7000 lb heavier empty weight than the original Hornet. The Super Hornet Also carries about 33% more internal fuel which increases its mission range by 41% over the normal Hornet.
The Super Hornet’s armaments include a 20mm M61 rotary cannon and a bunch of other air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles. This aircraft can carry up to 5 more external fuel tanks. What’s more interesting is that the Super Hornet also can be configured as an airborne tanker aircraft to refuel other aircraft by adding an external air-to-air refueling system.
US Navy EA-18G Growler
The EA-18G Growler is a specialized version of the two-seat F/A-18 Super Hornet. It is the most advanced airborne electronic attack aircraft, capable of operation from both ground bases and aircraft carriers. The electronic warfare capability of the growler is provided by the Northrop Grumman corporation.
The EA-18G was introduced to the US Navy as a replacement for the EA-8B Prowlers. Both the EA-6B and the EA-18G use the AN/ALQ-99 jamming system and the AGM-88 High-speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), but they are totally different aircraft. The EA-18 has a top speed of 1,181 mph, a ceiling of 50,000 feet, and a range of 1,458 miles.
Key differences between the EA-18G Growler and the FA-18 Super Hornet
The EA-18G Growler with electronic warfare capabilities does not have an internal 20mm M61 rotatory cannon like the one in the Super Hornet. EA-18G also features jammer pods, HARMs, external fuel tanks for extended range, and also AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles.
Jammers feature in the EA-18G Growlers can blind the radars. HARMs can destroy key nodes in an air-defense system. AMRAAMs are useful for fighting enemy fighter aircraft or destroying radar planes.
Visual differences between the EA-18 and the FA-18
One of the main visual differences is that there are no guns in the EA-18G. It has only AIM-120 AMRAAM or AGM-88 HARM missiles. Also, there is an additional antenna other than the SATCOM antenna.