An EA-18G Growler assigned to the "Vikings" of Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 129 aligns itself for an at-sea landing aboard the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan. The Growler will be renamed "Grizzly" to avoid any confusion on carrier flight decks, the Navy announced. (MC3 TORREY W. LEE / NAVY)
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The Navy's EA-18G Growler has a new name — at least on the radio.
The new electronic attack aircraft that joined the fleet last year will be known as a "Grizzly" on carrier decks worldwide.
The nickname "Growler" sounds too much like the EA-6B "Prowler," its electronic attack predecessor, and the Navy wanted to avoid any confusion on flight decks.
"The names ‘Growler' and ‘Prowler' were too close to be safe," said Kim Martin, a Navy spokeswoman at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash.
" ‘Grizzly' is a name that doesn't sound like any other name," she said.
The Boeing-made aircraft will continue on with Growler as its primary nickname. It will be known as a Grizzly only in operational situations.
The usage will be similar to the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets' operational moniker, the "Rhino."
The formal operational name comes just a few months after the Growler began conducting its first carrier-based operations on the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan.
The first Growler squadron, Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 132, may be ready for deployment later this year, Martin said.
Grizzly is a common name in military circles. NATO refers to a Russian-made surface-to-air weapons system as the SA-17 Grizzly, and the military contractor Blackwater manufactures a 22-ton urban assault vehicle known as the Grizzly APC, or armored personnel carrier.