US Navy receives first next-generation Growler jammer pods

by Gillian Rich

The Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) fleet representative pods were delivered to the US Navy in July 2022. The pods are part of a system that will eventually replace the Boeing EA-18G Growler's ALQ-99 system. (US Navy)

Raytheon Intelligence & Space recently delivered its first ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pods to the US Navy. The jammer pods are part of a system that will eventually replace the Boeing EA-18G Growler's ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System.

Raytheon delivered the pods to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Patuxent River, Maryland, on 7 July, the service announced on 8 August. The pods will be used to complete the jammer's developmental test programme and start the operational test programme, the navy said in a statement. Initial operational capability (IOC) is scheduled for the second half of 2023.

The NGJ-MB has more power than the Growler's ALQ-99 and the ability to target multiple systems, said Lieutenant Alexander Belbin, project officer with NAWCAD's Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23.


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AUSA 2022: Rafael showcasing 100 kW-class Iron Beam, details development path

by Ashley Roque

The laser system used in early 2022 trials was the Iron Beam prototype previously seen at a Rafael facility. (Israel Ministry of Defense)

Rafael and the Israeli Ministry of Defense (IMoD) want to have a 100 kW-class ground-based laser ready for fielding in the next couple of years that can assist Iron Dome intercepting unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), mortars, rockets, and anti-tank missiles in flight. The duo does not have an agreement with the US government to work together on the weapon yet, but Rafael will be at this year's Association of the United States Army (AUSA) convention showcasing the new capability.

Michael Lurie – the vice-president and head of the land manoeuvre systems directorate at Rafael, and the incoming CEO of Rafael USA – spoke with Janes on 30 September about Iron Beam development ahead of the annual conference in Washington, DC.

“We think the system will be the first operational high-energy laser system, not because we're the most advanced technologically … there are other US companies and probably other countries that are technologically very developed, but [Israel has] a very urgent need,” he said.


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AUSA 2022: Leonardo DRS coalition unveils single Stryker C-UAS

by Ashley Roque

Leonardo DRS and its industry partners are unveiling a single-vehicle C-UAS at the AUSA 2022 conference in Washington, DC, from 10 to 12 October. (Leonardo DRS)

Leonardo DRS, along with seven industry partners, spent the past year designing, integrating, and testing a counter-unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) based on a single Stryker Double-V Hull Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICVVA1) that it will showcase at the Association of the US Army (AUSA) 2022 conference in Washington, DC, from 10 to 12 October.

Ed House, Leonardo DRS's senior director for land systems, provided Janes with an initiative overview on 4 October ahead of the annual meeting in Washington, DC. This new single-vehicle capability was born, in part, from the company's work with the army on the Mobile, Low, Slow, Unmanned Aircraft Integrated Defeat System (M-LIDS) programme − a two-vehicle C-UAS system based on the mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) all-terrain vehicle (M-ATV).

During the AUSA 2021 conference, Leonardo DRS approached the service about working on a fully integrated C-UAS capability based on a single vehicle, House said.


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UK MoD seeks portable tablets for rotary-wing platforms

by Olivia Savage

The UK MoD is seeking portable tablets for use on rotary-wing platforms that alert users to potential obstacles. Pictured are 845 Naval Air Squadron (NAS), Commando Helicopter Force, Merlin Mk3, 662 Squadron AAC Apache AH1, and 27 Squadron RAF Chinook CH-47. (Royal Navy)

UK rotary-wing platforms will get portable electronic devices that enhance situational awareness for the crew.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has detailed a requirement for a Common Aviation Situational Awareness (CASA) tool intended for use on rotary-wing platforms such as the Boeing Apache, Boeing Chinook, Leonardo Merlin, Leonardo Wildcat, and Airbus Helicopters Dauphin, according to a dynamic pre-qualification questionnaire (DPQQ) on 4 October.

Valued at GBP10 million (USD11.25 million), the five-year contract is expected to start on 3 July 2023. The deadline for interested parties to submit proposals is 3 November.

It is envisaged that the situational awareness tool will be a tablet-based digital moving map that has a wire/obstruction alerting system, the MoD said. It will therefore be independent of the airframe and integrated systems, the MoD added.


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Raytheon Intelligence & Space recently delivered its first ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (...

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