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Australia plans EW systems buy

Aug. 24, 2012 at 11:44 AM

CANBERRA, Australia, Aug. 24 (UPI) -- Australia plans to acquire Growler electronic warfare systems for up to a dozen of its Northrop Grumman F/A-18F Super Hornets.

The decision, which will carry a price tag of $1.5 billion, was made by Australian Minister for Defense Stephen Smith and Minister for Defense Materiel Jason Clare this week and follows the inclusion of funding for the project in defense budgeting last March.

"Electronic threats are an inherent part of modern combat and Growler will provide options for the air force to undertake electronic threat suppression operations in support of Australian Defense Force operations, including land and sea forces," the Ministry of Defense said.

Acquisition of the Growler systems, which can also be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions, is expected to be completed by 2018.

Australia operates 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets. Only the U.S. Navy is operating Growler-configuration Super Hornets, which can jam the electronic systems of other aircraft and ground-based radar and communications systems.

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