The German Air Force’s plan to procure an advanced U.S.-built airborne electronic attack aircraft, the EA-18G Growler, appears somewhat in doubt in the aftermath of Berlin’s decision to acquire 35 F-35As for that nation’s nuclear weapons deterrent role. There are five reasons why Germany should still move forward with its plan to acquire the Growler. First, as the current war in Europe demonstrates, electronic warfare and the suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD) will be critical to a high-end fight. Second, there is no better electronic warfare aircraft in the world than the Growler. The Growler is specifically designed to conduct the full range of Electromagnetic Spectrum Operations, defined as military operations designed to exploit, protect, attack, and manage the electromagnetic spectrum. Third, the marriage of the F-35A and EA-18G will give the German Air Force a more credible nuclear deterrent. Fourth, integrating German and U.S. Growlers will enhance both nations’ militaries. Fifth, there is no other affordable option that can meet the planned date for retiring the German Air Force’s EW-capable Tornados. I have written more on this subject here.
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