US Navy Successfully Tests its Next Generation Jammer Pod for Electronic Warfare

The US Navy has successfully completed the first mission systems flight of its Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB). The trial flight was done aboard US Navy’s EA-18G Growler aircraft at the Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. The flight, conducted by Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, is a Safety of Flight (SOF) checkout that ensures the pods can be safely flown on the EA-18G aircraft for follow-on test flights.

According to Capt. Michael Orr, the AEA Systems (PMA-234) Program Manager, the successful flight was an important step for the US Navy as well as their Australian partners and the Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) community. The successful first flight with the NGJ-MB capability fully integrated onto the EA-18G Growler, validates the last four years of development and the extensive efforts of these last several months in preparation.

The NGJ-MB system, developed by Raytheon Intelligence and Space, is part of a larger NGJ system that will augment, and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System (TJS) currently used on the EA-18G Growler. NGJ-MB is an external jamming pod that will address advanced and emerging threats using the latest digital, software-based and Active Electronically Scanned Array technologies and will provide enhanced AEA capabilities to disrupt, deny and degrade enemy air defense and ground communication systems.

The AEA community has been relying on the ALQ-99 TJS for decades, as according to Lt. Jonathon Parry, NGJ-MB Aeromechanical Project Officer. Gone are the days of isolated Surface-to-Air Missile systems that operate on a small frequency spectrum and do not integrate into a larger Integrated Air Defense System. Modern adversaries are developing complex emitters that use advanced techniques to defeat legacy jamming. NGJ-MB will provide new capabilities to the fleet to ensure spectrum dominance against current and future threats, Lt. Jonathon added.

The PMA-234 program is responsible for acquiring, delivering and sustaining AEA systems, providing combatant commanders with capabilities that enable mission success.