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According to the Nikkei, Tokyo is taking a look at getting electronic-warfare (EW) aircraft and Boeing’s EA-18G Growler is one of the options being explored.
The news outlet says the Defense Ministry plans to officially put in a request to buy these specialized aircraft in the Mid-Term Defense Program at the end of the year. Once approved, the acquisition will take place between 2019 to 2023.
The EA-18G Growler is a variant of the combat-proven F/A-18F Super Hornet and flies the airborne electronic attack mission. Thanks to its array of sensors and weapons, the aircraft is able to perform a wide range of missions such as Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), Stand-off and Escort Jamming (where the Growler not only fly the traditional stand-off jamming mission but also provides the escort for other air assets thanks to the speed and agility inherited form the Super Hornet), Non-Traditional Electronic Attack (where thanks to its enhanced situational awareness the EA-18G achieves an unmatched degree of integration with ground operations) and Self-protection and Time-Critical Strike Support (where thanks to its Advanced Electronically Scanned Array [AESA] radar, digital data links and air-to-air missiles, the EA-18G has self-protection capability and is also highly effective for target identification and prosecution).