C4iSR: Air

L3, Northrop Grumman receive NGJ low-band technology contracts

29 October 2018

The NGJ low-band programme is intended to replace the legacy AN/ALQ-99 low-band pod (seen here on the EA-18G Growler centre-line hardpoint). Source: Jamie Hunter/AVIACOM

L3 Technologies and Northrop Grumman have each received contracts to explore technology options for the low band increment of the US Navy’s (USN’s) AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) programme.

The 20-month Demonstration of Existing Technologies (DET) contract awards, announced on 25 October, follow the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO’s) denial of a protest by Raytheon.

Being procured incrementally, the overarching NGJ programme is intended to augment and progressively replace the AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) that currently equips the USN’s EA-18G airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft. The Next Generation Jammer-Low Band (NGJ-LB) pod, which will be fitted on the aircraft’s centre-line hardpoint (Station 6), forms Increment 2 of the programme.

In July 2018 the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) selected L3 and a team of Northrop Grumman and Harris to receive DET contracts, eliminating proposals from Raytheon and a Lockheed Martin/Cobham team. The contracts were stalled, however, after Raytheon filed protests to the GAO arguing that the navy’s evaluation process was flawed. Raytheon is already under contract to deliver the AN/ALQ-249(V)1 Next Generation Jammer-Mid Band (NGJ-MB) system forming NGJ Increment 1.

The GAO on 22 October ruled against Raytheon. The details of the judgements were not immediately disclosed on the grounds that some details should be redacted before release according to the protective order covering the protest.

With Raytheon’s protest denied, the two DET contracts have now been confirmed. L3 Technologies has been awarded a USD35.7 million contract, while Northrop Grumman has received a USD35.2 million award.

The DET phase is intended to inform the NAVAIR as to existing technologies supporting an airborne wideband low-frequency (LF) band jamming application where significant size, weight, power, and cooling constraints (SWaP-C) exist.

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