The life of the EA Growler can be traced way back to the 2001 development of F/A-18F Hornet. It was in November of that year when the Falcon was successfully fitted with the ALQ-99 electronic warfare system. The resulting unit was developed to serve as the EA-18 Airborne Electronic Attack concept aircraft. The first unit, designated as the EA-1, was officially rolled of the factories in August 2006 and was flown in the same month. The aircraft primarily served the Air Combat Environment Test and Evaluation Facility as a support plane for ground testing. The EA-1 was followed by the EA-2 three months later. The aircraft initially flew to the further development of the AEA system. As an offshoot of the F/A-18E, the EA-18G Growler bore quite a few similarities to it. Experts state that the Growler is at least 90% similar to the standard Super Hornet in terms of airframe and equipment, which includes the Raytheon AN/APG-79 AESA radar and the AN/AYK-22 stores management system. This gave the EA-18 Growler the ability to perform escort and traditional standoff jamming. But this electronic warfare aircraft did have a different leading edge fairings and wing fold hinge fairings. The EA-18 Growler may sport a lot of the F/A18 Hornet’s characteristics, but this carrier-based aircraft had proven its worth in the game of electronic warfare.