EA-6B Prowler

Product Spotlight: Another Prowler Trips the Alarm

HA5002

“Without question, the arrival of the EA-6B Prowler on the carrier deck established airborne electronic attack as an invaluable, ‘don’t leave home without it’ part of every Navy and Marine strike mission.”

– Rick Morgan, LCDR, USN (Ret.) and historian for the Prowler Association

With sales for their first EA-6B Prowler exceeding expectations, Hobby Master took the wraps off of their second iteration, which is painted in a subdued desert camouflage scheme. The next release, expected some time in August, depicts an electronics warfare aircraft from Electronic Attack Squadron 133 “Wizards”, when it was deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, during 2007 (HA5002).

Electronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) is an EA-18G Growler squadron of the United States Navy based at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington. Beginning in 2013, the squadron began the transition from the EA-6B to the Growler. Upon completion of the transition spring 2014, the Wizards returned to their attachment to Carrier Air Wing Nine. The squadron’s nickname is “Wizards” and its radio callsign is “Magic”.

HA5002a

Electronic Attack Squadron 133 (VAQ-133) was established on March 4th, 1969, at Naval Air Station Alameda, California. The squadron originally flew the EKA-3B Skywarrior. In August 1971, the Wizards relocated to NAS Whidbey Island. Following this move, the squadron received and transitioned to the EA-6B Prowler.

Following the 2012-2013 deployment of Carrier Air Wing 9 onboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), VAQ-133 will be reassigned to Carrier Air Wing Eight based aboard the carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77). This reassign was originally slated to occur in January 2014 but changing operational requirements accelerated this reassignment until immediately after the end of the 2012-2013 deployment. As of mid-2014, VAQ-133 made a transition from the EA-6B to the Boeing EA-18G Growler.

 

 
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Product Spotlight: There’s a Prowler on the Grounds

 

HA5001e

“Without question, the arrival of the EA-6B Prowler on the carrier deck established airborne electronic attack as an invaluable, ‘don’t leave home without it’ part of every Navy and Marine strike mission.”

– Rick Morgan, LCDR, USN (Ret.) and historian for the Prowler Association

They’re finally in. Hobby Master’s eagerly awaited inaugural EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare Aircraft (HA5001) is now vaulting from our deck and winging their way to everyone that ordered one.

The Northrop Grumman (formerly Grumman) EA-6B Prowler is a twin-engine, mid-wing electronic warfare aircraft derived from the A-6 Intruder airframe. The EA-6A was the initial electronic warfare version of the A-6 used by the United States Marine Corps in the 1960s. Development on the more advanced EA-6B began in 1966. An EA-6B aircrew consists of one pilot and three Electronic Countermeasures Officers, though it is not uncommon for only two ECMOs to be used on missions. It is capable of carrying and firing anti-radiation missiles (ARM), such as the AGM-88 HARM missile.

Prowler has been in service with the U.S. Armed Forces since 1971. It has carried out numerous missions for jamming enemy radar systems, and in gathering radio intelligence on those and other enemy air defense systems. From the 1998 retirement of the United States Air Force EF-111 Raven electronic warfare aircraft, the EA-6B was the only dedicated electronic warfare plane available for missions by the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps, and the United States Air Force until the fielding of the Navy’s EA-18G Growler in 2009. The last Navy deployment was over in November 2014, with the full withdrawal from US Navy service in early 2015.

 
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Hobby Master Puts to Sea with the US Navy

HA4901

Had they been announced just a scant 24 hours earlier, we might have concluded that Hobby Master’s latest products announcements were simply an April Fool’s joke. Despite the timing, Hobby Master doesn’t seem to be pulling a fast one with their two newest toolings – a Lockheed S-3 Viking Anti-Submarine aircraft and a Northrop Grumman EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare Aircraft (HA4901 and HA5001 respectively).

HA5001

Keep in mind that thus far only line art drawings have been posted, so product shots of both aircraft are likely still months away. Nevertheless, its encouraging to see that Hobby Master is investing the time, energy and resources into producing new toolings instead of sitting on their laurels and pumping out repaint after repaint. We applaud their efforts and recognize that without them, this niche hobby wouldn’t be where it currently is today.

 

 
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