The EA-6B Prowler is the U.S. Navy's and U.S. Marine Corps' tactical jamming aircraft. It joined the fleet in January 1971 and has gone through four major upgrades. The Prowler's primary role has been to protect fleet surface units and strike aircraft by jamming enemy radar and communications, and perform electronic surveillance. The latest upgrade, the ICAP III System, delivers more powerful and additional tools to the warfighters, be they in the air, at sea or on the ground.
The Prowler's initial deployment was in 1972 in Southeast Asia, where it encountered the world's first true "electronic battlefield." It later saw combat in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, had supported NATO peacekeeping operations over Bosnia-Herzegovina, enforced the "no-fly" zones around Iraq and acted as part of NATO operations over Yugoslavia.
In 1994, the Secretary of Defense selected the Prowler to become the sole tactical radar support jammer for all the services. Today, Prowler aircraft are a high-demand, low-density military asset, and are heavily used in the global war on terrorism. The new ICAP III System, first delivered in 2005, has performed beyond expectations in its combat deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Northrop Grumman performs engineering work on Prowlers at its Bethpage, New York facility, where the EA-6B program is headquartered. Northrop Grumman performs Standard Depot Level Maintenance (SDLM), as well as other upgrade modifications for the Prowler. These efforts are conducted at the Manufacturing Center in St. Augustine, Florida. This facility has designed and built over 114 new wing center sections for the EA-6B Prowler. The company upgrades fleet Prowlers with the ICAP III System at this site. ICAP III is the foundation for Northrop Grumman's future advanced electronic attack systems, including the system in the EA-18G.