The EA-6B Prowler, manufactured by Grumman (now Northrop Grumman Aerospace), is a twin-engine, mid-wing aircraft designed as a modification of the basic A-6 Intruder airframe. The EA-6Bs primary mission is to protect fleet surface units and other aircraft by jamming hostile radars and communications. The Prowler has the ability to passively detect enemy radars without making its own presence known. The Prowler can carry up to five tactical jamming pods which allow it to effectively degrade enemy radars. The Prowler also carries a High Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM), which provides the capability to destroy enemy radars and the capability to track and destroy radar.
The Grumman EA-6B Prowler has a crew of four, a pilot and three Electronic Counter-measures Officers (known as ECMOs). The aircraft is capable of speeds of up to 950 km/h with a range of 1,840 kilometers and powered by two non-afterburning Pratt & Whitney J52-P408 turbojet engines. Since EW operations are very demanding, the Prowler is a high-maintenance aircraft and undergoes frequent equipment upgrades more than any other aircraft in the Navy.
There are currently 19 Prowler squadrons in the military: four in the Marines and fifteen in the Navy. There are four ""Expeditionary"" squadrons manned by both Navy and Air Force personnel which deploy to overseas bases as a replacement for the EF-111. The Marine squadrons are stationed at Cherry Point, NC. The Navy has fourteen squadrons based at NAS Whidbey Island, WA, and one permanently deployed in Atsugi, Japan.