In modern air warfare, having the biggest caliber machine guns or the best heat-seeking missiles around may not be the only reason a pilot wins a dogfight.
When a mission requires the opponent’s air defense system to be rendered useless so allied forces can get into enemy territory undetected, the EA-18G Growler gets called up.
The Growler is a key factor in every attack squadron because of its ability to shut down ground radar with electronic jamming.
It’s equipped with receivers built on to each wing tip which search for radar signals to locate the enemy’s surface-to-air missile systems.
Inside the cockpit, the Weapon Systems Officer monitors the computer system that scans, analyzes and decides whether the signals it picks up are either friend or foe.
If a threat is detected, the Growler activates one of three jamming pods stored underneath the jet’s centerline that overwhelms the ground radar by sending out electronic noise allowing coalition aircraft to sneak by undetected.
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But it doesn’t just jam the enemy’s radar, it also has the capability of delivering physical destruction as well.
The Growler comes equipped with an attack missile called “HARM” which stands for “high-speed anti-radiation missile.” Once this rocket is launched, it locks in on the ground radar’s electronic signal and explodes directly over its intended target.
The Growler’s impressive systems can locate, jam, and destroy enemy radar in under a minute.
Check out the Smithsonian Channel‘s video below to see the EA-18G Growler work for yourself.(Smithsonian Channel, YouTube)