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USN approves NGJ-MB for production

The US Navy (USN) has approved low-rate initial production (LRIP) for the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) electronic warfare/electronic attack (EW/EA) pods developed by Raytheon for Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack (EA) aircraft operated by the service and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).

The NGJ-MB seen during flight trials aboard an EA-18G Growler. (Raytheon)

The NGJ-MB seen during flight trials aboard an EA-18G Growler. (Raytheon)

Raytheon Intelligence & Space announced on 29 June that it had completed Milestone C for the USN's NGJ-MB, with Vice President of Electronic Warfare Systems at the division, Annabel Flores, noting, β€œWe're well into development testing. It's time to move towards production.”

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. According to Raytheon, to date NGJ-MB has successfully completed more than 145 hours of developmental flight testing using mission systems and aeromechanical pods; more than 3,100 hours of anechoic chamber and lab testing at Naval Air Stations Patuxent River in Maryland, and Point Mugu in California; chamber testing to evaluate the system's performance both on and off the EA-18G Growler aircraft; as well as jamming techniques and reliability testing.

As previously reported by Janes, 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.

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