Initial Operational Capability (IOC):
25 May 1968
Origin: United States of America
Parent System: A-6 Intruder
Initial Operational Capability (IOC): 1960
Total Production: ?
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Description: The EA-6B Prowler is an electronic warfare aircraft designed for protection over strike aircraft, ground troops and ships by jamming enemy radar, communications and electronic data link. It is a derivative of the combat-proven A-6 Intruder with a rear side-by-side workstations for electronic equipment management. The Prowler's initial deployment was in 1972 during the Vietnam War. Afterward the Prowler was employed operationally in the Gulf War (1991), and over the former Yugoslavia.
The Prowler is powered by two Pratt and Whitney J52-P408 engines rated at 10,400 pounds each. The Prowler main weapons is the pod-mounted ALQ-99F airborne jamming system as well as other sensitive surveillance receivers. Eventually it can be armed with AGM-88 HARM missiles to carry out Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) missions. Typically the EA-6B Prowler operates with external fuel tanks and the ALQ-99 jamming pods.
As of early 2000s Northrop-Grumman was upgrading the EA-6B Prowler capabilities under the ICAP III program which provides a new airborne electronic attack system. ICAP III features the AN/ALQ-218. The US Navy has selected the EA-18G, a Super Hornet derivative, to replace the EA-6B Prowler by 2009. As of March 2005, the Navy's Prowler fleet was expected to remain in service until 2012. The Prowler fleet will be retired in early 2013. The US Marine Corps operates the last remaining (15) EA-6B aircraft to conduct SEAD missions.
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