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EA-18G Update

A 22 October 2004 ceremony at the Boeing Company's St. Louis, Mo., facility marked the startup of the production line for the EA-18G, the replacement for the EA-6B Prowler. EA-1 is the first of two test aircraft to be produced under a system development and demonstration contract. Assembly of EA-2 is expected to begin before the end of 2005. Test flights should commence in September 2006, and initial operational capability for the EA-18G is scheduled for 2009.

For the Record

The Multimission Maritime Aircraft program completed a system requirements review on 30 September 2004, allowing the program to continue the systems development and demonstration phase.

The AIM-54 Phoenix long-range guided air-to-air missile retired after 30 years of service.

The RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle made its first flight in October 2004 in California. This is the first of two Global Hawks slated for a Navy demonstration program to develop maritime UAV tactics and operating procedures.

Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, was deactivated on 1 October 2004. The wing's remaining F-14 squadrons now report to Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

The EP-3E Aries II Sensor System Improvement Program (SSIP) upgrade completed operational test and evaluation, and was found to be operationally effective and suitable. Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadrons 1 and 2 fly twelve SSIP aircraft, and five P-3C airframes are undergoing conversion to become EP-3Es.

The Navy's newest San Antonio-class amphibious ship, New Orleans, was christened on 20 November 2004.

Strike Fighter Squadron 34, operating from John F. Kennedy (CV 67), dropped the Navy's first two GBU-38 500-pound joint direct attack munitions during combat operations in Iraq on 20 October 2004.

Fleet installation of a mission computer replacement for E-2C Group II aircraft began in fall 2004 and is expected to be completed in spring 2005. Utilizing commercial off the shelf technology, the upgrade replaces the original Litton L-304 tactical mission computers used in the Group II aircraft since the late 1960s, and provides more reliable, high-performance processing.

Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 461 received the first CH-53E Super Stallion Ballistic Protection System in September 2004. The armor system--consisting of 37 steel and Kevlar armor plates installed in the cockpit, cabin, and ramp to protect against 7.62mm rounds and blast fragments--was subsequently installed in CH-53Es participating in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.


An F/A-18C Hornet of Strike Fighter Squadron 131 crashed after takeoff from Nellis AFB, Nev., on 9 November 2004. The pilot ejected safely.

On 2 November 2004 an EA-6B Prowler of Electronic Attack Squadron 138 suffered Class A damage when the nose gear collapsed on landing rollout at NAS Fallon, Nev. There were no injuries.

An F-14B Tomcat of Fighter Squadron 103 suffered Class A damage following catastrophic engine failure while in tension on the catapult aboard John F. Kennedy (CV 67) on 22 October 2004.

On 19 October 2004 aboard Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), a blueshirt was injured when run over by a VFA-82 F/A-18C Hornet being towed under the direction of a yellowshirt.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet of Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 9 suffered Class A damage but landed safely with fodded engines after striking trees at night on short final at NB Point Mugu, Calif., on 14 October 2004.

On 7 October 2004, an HH-60H Seahawk of HS-15 was damaged when it struck the ground following takeoff in Kuwait.

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Author:Leland, Wendy
Publication:Naval Aviation News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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