We will be covering the VAQ-129 participation for the Waco Heart of Texas 2018 Airshow. This year we have mainly US Navy participation for this airshow and we are so thrilled to see 2x E/A-18G from VAQ-129 base at NAS Whidbey Island, WA. VAQ-129 also known as vikings is the Navy Fleet replacement squadron ( FRS) are charged with training all E/A-18G aviators and developing standard operating procedures for the maintenance and operation of the aircraft. The 2 growlers that show was 576-169140 and 565-169147 both are line jet having the standard TPS camouflage with the Viking logo and NJ tail code.
The E/A-18G replaces the EA-6B prowler as the airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft which operates from either an aircraft carrier or from land-bases. The Growler has more than 90% in common with the Navy’s standard Super Hornet F/A-18 E/F , sharing airframe, AN/APG-79 AESA radar and weapon systems such as the AN/AYK-22 stores management system. Most of the dedicated airborne electronic warfare equipment is mounted in the omitted 20mm canon and on the wingtips. Nine weapons stations remain free to provide for additional weapons or jamming pods and recently we have seen Growlers arm with HARM AGM-88 , AIM-120 and AIM-9 all in one sortie. The added electronics include AN/ALQ-218 wideband receivers on the wingtips and ALQ-99 high and low-band tactical jamming pods. The ALQ-218 combined with the ALQ-99 form a full spectrum electronic warfare suite that is able to provide detection and jamming against all known surface-to-air threats. for 2018 and beyond the aircraft will be further upgraded with better jamming pods to deal with the current threats.
Static Display ( both aircraft was on Static Display for the airshow)
I would like to thank VAQ-129 for participating in the Heart of Texas Airshow in Waco.
Article by Dave Chng
Pictures by Dave chng and Bill Havel