EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 26 (UPI) -- The first major sub-assembly for EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft for the Australian Air Force has been delivered to Boeing by Northrop Grumman.
The sub-assembly, known as a shipset, is the center/aft fuselage section of the aircraft, together with twin vertical tails and associated sub-systems.
"We are honored to celebrate this significant milestone with the U.S. Navy and our industry partners," said the Royal Australian Air Force's Director General Capability Planning, Air Commodore Michael Kitcher. "I am confident that Growler will provide our air force with the most versatile and effective airborne electronic attack platform in the world."
Australia has ordered a total of 12 EA-18G Growlers from Boeing. The aircraft is a derivative of the FA-18 Super Hornet with a combat radius of 449 miles and a speed of 1,190 miles per hour at an altitude of 40,000 feet.
Northrop Grumman is the principle sub-contractor to Boeing for the F/A-18. It also produces and integrates the jet's primary electronic warfare sub-systems and provides related software maintenance and support services.
"Production of the first international Growler shipset marks another important milestone in Northrop Grumman's storied history as a volume producer of advanced aircraft systems of unmatched quality," said John Murnane, F/A-18 program manager and director, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "Our consistent record of on-time, on-budget performance helps give Australia critical, new offensive and defensive options for its air combat operations."