Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA5150 McDonnell Douglas EA-18G Growler 168893, VAQ-141 “Shadowhawks”, USS Ronald Reagan, Atsugi Air Base, 2017. Buy now online at Flying Tigers.
In order to replace their aging EA-6B Prowlers the USN acquired a specialized version of the F/A-18F Super Hornet, the EA-18G Growler. The Growler is an advanced airborne electronic attack aircraft capable of tactical jamming and electronic protection. The first EA-18G Growler flight took place in August 2006 with the first USN production aircraft being delivered to VAQ129 in June 2008. After operational capability testing full production of the EA18G Growler began in late 2009. In 2010 VAQ-132, 138 and 141 were re-equipped with the Growler.
In the spring of 2012 VAQ-141 Shadowhawks transferred from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington to NAF Atsugi, Japan and assigned to the USS George Washington. In 2015 VAQ-141 crossed decks to the USS Ronald Reagan and in 2017 spent three months deployed in the Indo-Asia Pacific region. When the unit returned on November 28 VAQ-141 relocated to MCAS Iwakuni. One of the VAQ-141 Growlers was 168893 c/n G-91 that originally had been assigned to VAQ-129 Vikings as NJ-543.