Unique photo shows U.S. Navy Growler with High Value Individual cell phone-jamming kill mark

U.S. Navy Growlers jam High Value Targets/Individuals’ cell phones.

The image in this post shows the nose of a VAQ-137 EA-18G Growler aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt, supporting Operation Inherent Resolve against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Interestingly, the aircraft sports a quite unique kill marking, showing a person “hit” by a lightning bolt.

According to our sources, this is the kill mark applied when the Growler is used in an operation during which it jams cell comms or pick up cell comms and that person is targeted.

All the other “standard” lighting bolts are for generic Electronic Attack support: usually, jamming during ops when F/A-18s are dropping ordnance.

But the cell phone one is very specific to targeting a High Value Target or other individual with a cell or cell-jamming over an area. Ordnance is often employed in this context.

The Boeing EA-18G Growler is an Electronic Warfare variant of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet that replaced the EA-6B Prowlers in U.S. Navy service.

Along with actively jamming enemy communications, the Growler, operating in a networked environment along with other two aircraft of the same type (needed for triangulation), can use its EW pods to geo-locate a signal source and target it from stand-off distance with air-to-surface missiles.

Image credit: Marc Garlasco

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. “Define EXACTLY what “much more survivable” is.”

    It’s faster, better, stronger (lol song reference). But no really, it’s faster, has more power for future upgrades (like the Next Generation Jammer), has AESA radar, and can carry air to air missiles if needed.

    “Four heads are better than two.”

    What are you talking about?

  2. “So in other words, it’s something you made up.


    You’ve merely pulled words out of thin air and have provide NOTHING credible regarding the jet’s capabilities.

    Is it’s emitter geo-location speed and accuracy better?
    What is it’s capabilities against multiple emitters?”

    Yep, I totally made it up, all of it. Dear god so help that I say that a next generation aircraft is better than it’s predecessor.

    “””Four heads are better than two.”

    What are you talking about?”?


    Seems you truly are out of your depth.

    EA-6B crew size……EA-18G crew size….”

    I didn’t realize that is what you were referring to. Also it’s really not better, the EA-6B needed a crew size of four because of the equipment it needed to operate, last generation equipment needs more manpower to operate.

    Now we only need 2 people to operate it, the pilot and the electronic countermeasures officers. It’s the same thing with the F-22 and F-35, the software is much more capable of showing the pilot everything he needed without overwhelming him, why do you think those planes no longer need a weapons operator in the back seat?

    Not sure why I continue responding, I know you will just respond with something along the lines of “hurder everything new sucks and everything old is superior”.

Comments are closed.