C4iSR: Air

USN completes development testing of NGJ-MB pods for Growler

22 March 2020

Two Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pods, attached to an EA-18G Growler, undergo testing in the Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility anechoic chamber at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. Source: US Navy

The US Navy (USN) has completed developmental testing of the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pods being developed by Raytheon for the Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack (EA) aircraft.

The milestone, announced by the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) on 19 March, followed 400 hours of basic functionality, electromagnetic environmental effects (E3) data collection, and performance testing of NGJ-MB engineering development model (EDM) pods over a three-month period.

Raytheon has been contracted to deliver 15 engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) and 14 flight-certification trial NGJ-MB systems to the USN from its El Segundo facility in California.

As previously reported by Jane’s, Raytheon’s NGJ-MB pod is part of a wider Block 2 electronic warfare (EW) capability upgrade for the Growler that also includes the NGJ-Low Band (LB) and NGJ-High Band (HB) pods to replace the current AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS). In developing three separate NGJ solutions, the USN is looking to enhance the EA capabilities of the Growler in each of the three separate wavebands, as opposed to the current TJS solution that provides a good capability across the entirety of the frequency spectrum.

Jane’s C4ISR & Mission Systems: Air notes that 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.

The Growler is capable of carrying up to five jamming pods: two under each wing and one under the fuselage.

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