The Northrop Grumman (formerly Grumman) EA-6B Prowler is a twin-engine, four-seat, mid-wing electronic warfare aircraft derived from the A-6 Intruder airframe. It’s a former all-weather medium attack aircraft that was retired by the U.S. Marine Corps in 1997. The Prowler has been in service with the U.S. Armed Forces since 1971, and has carried out numerous missions for jamming enemy radar systems. From the 1998 retirement of the U.S. Air Force EF-111 Raven electronic warfare aircraft, the Prowler was the only dedicated electronic warfare plane in service with the U.S. Armed Forces until the fielding of the U.S. Navy’s EA-18G Growler in 2009.
Although the U.S. Navy retired its EA-6B Prowlers in 2015, the U.S. Marine Corps is still flying this capable electronic warfare jet as of 2017, with plans to continue to do so until at least the year 2019. The Prowler has the ability to neutralize enemy air defenses that rely on early-warning radar. It locks-on to radar and illuminates electronic footprints, in addition to detect, sort, classify, jam, and destroy air defenses, leaving the enemy with two options – leave the radar on and get burnt, or turn it off. Either way, enemy air defenses are reduced and made useless.
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