The EA-18G Growler is an electronic attack version of the F/A-18F. The Growler's flight performance is similar to that of the F/A-18E/F. This attribute enables the Growler to perform escort jamming as well as the traditional standoff jamming mission. Growlers will be able to accompany F/A-18s during all phases of an attack mission.
The Growler has more than 90% in common with the standard Super Hornet, sharing airframe, Raytheon AN/APG-79 AESA radar and weapon systems such as the AN/AYK-22 Stores Management System. Most of the dedicated airborne electronic attack equipment is mounted in the space that used to house the internal 20 mm cannon and on the wingtips. Nine weapons stations remain free to provide for additional weapons or jamming pods.The added electronics include AN/ALQ-218 wideband receivers on the wingtips, and ALQ-99 high and low-band tactical jamming pods. The ALQ-218 combined with the ALQ-99 form a full spectrum electronic warfare suite that is able to provide detection and jamming against all known surface-to-air threats.
The EA-18G can be fitted with up to five ALQ-99 jamming pods and will typically add two AIM-120 self-defense missiles and two AGM-88 High Speed Anti-Radiation (HARM) missiles.