C4iSR: Air

USN launches Next-Gen Jammer Low-Band integration on Growler

31 May 2019

Artist’s render of EA-18G Growler aircraft equipped with Next Generation Jammer pods. Source: Raytheon

The US Navy (USN) has launched an effort to integrate the Next Generation Jammer- Low Band (NGJ-LB) system onto the Boeing EA-18G electronic attack (EA) aircraft, with a request for information (RFI) issued on 30 May.

The RFI released by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) is for the development, test, and integration of NGJ-LB onto the EA-18G as part of the wider Growler Block 2 upgrade that it formally launched just days previously. The NGJ system will replace the current AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) that dates back to the closing stages of the Vietnam War.

With the TJS operating in the 509 MHz- to 18 GHz-waveband, NGJ will be developed as three separate capabilities, which will include LB, Mid-Band (MB), and High-Band (HB). NGJ-LB (also known as Block/Increment 2), NGJ-MB (Block/Increment 1), and NGJ-HB (Block/Increment 3) are directed specifically against the low- (100 MHz to 2 GHz waveband), mid- (2 GHz to 6 GHz), and high-band (6 GHz to 18 GHz) sections of the overall threat spectrum.

Work on NGJ-LB development, test, and integration is expected to run for five years from 2 December. Northrop Grumman is teamed with Harris Corporation and Comtech PST on the NGJ-LB project, while L3 Technologies is also developing a candidate solution.

As noted by Jane's C4ISR & Mission Systems: Air , the NGJ will be a pod-mounted system that incorporates digital, software-based, and active electronically scanned array (AESA) technologies to create an enhanced EA capability that is capable of disrupting and degrading hostile radar and communications emitters, as well as addressing advanced and emerging threats operating within increasingly dense environments. The capability's mission areas are listed as stand-off (supporting deep-strike missions) and stand-in jamming, along with modified (supporting sea warfare; close-air support; irregular warfare - communications and non-conventional weapon targets; and battlefield air interdiction operations) and penetrating escort.

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