CANBERRA, Aug. 23 (Xinhua) -- Australia will be the only country in the world, other than the United States, operating the highly advanced airborne electronic warfare system known as Growler, according to the Australian Department of Defence.
Australia will pay 1.5 billion U.S. dollars for the system, and equip 12 of the RAAF's Super Hornets, which the former coalition government ordered in 2007 and in 2009, with initial operating capability to be achieved around 2018.
Growler is now in service with the U.S. Navy and was used most recently in the campaign in Libya. It has an unspecified capability for electronic attack, the ability to spoof or even destroy enemy systems. But much of what Growler can do remains top secret.
RAAF chief Air Marshal Geoff Brown said it will probably represent the biggest strategic increase in Australian Defence Force (ADF) capability since the arrival of the F-111 strike bomber.
Defence Minister Stephen Smith said it is important even in the current tough budget situation.
"It provides a capacity to jam the communications system of an adversary, whether that adversary is a nation state or a non-state or...a group of terrorists. This is a very important acquisition," he said