Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band Pod Takes First Flight on EA-18G Growler
Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band Pod Takes First Flight on EA-18G Growler

Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band Pod Takes First Flight on EA-18G Growler

The U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) successfully completed its first mission systems flight with an EA-18G Growler at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, Aug. 7. The first 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. PMA-234 is responsible for acquiring, delivering and sustaining AEA systems, providing combatant commanders with capabilities that enable mission success.

“What an incredible day for the U.S. Navy, our Australian partners, and the Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) community,” said Capt. Michael Orr, AEA Systems (PMA-234) program manager. “We witnessed a successful first flight with the NGJ-MB capability fully integrated onto the EA-18G Growler, validating the last four years of development and the extensive efforts of these last several months in preparation. I’m extremely proud of the entire Government and industry team.”

Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) flies for the first time on an EA-18G Growler, Aug. 7, over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. (U.S. Navy photo by Erik Hildebrandt)

“The AEA community has been relying on the ALQ-99 TJS for decades,” said 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.”

An external carriage Airborne Electronic Attack capability for the EA-18G Growler that is currently in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase with various testing underway. NGJ-MB utilizes the latest digital, software-based, and Active Electronically Scanned Array technologies in order to address advanced and emerging threats in the middle frequency bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. The NGJ-MB program is a joint program collaboration between the U.S. Department of Defense and the Australian Ministry of Defence.

NGJ-MB in production at Raytheon Technologies facilities in Forest, MS.

The Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (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.

Raytheon Company was awarded a $403M System Demonstration Test Articles contract with the U.S. Navy for Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band. The SDTA pods will be delivered to the fleet once developmental and operational testing is complete. Commanders will use NGJ-MB to deny, degrade and deceive the enemy’s use of the electromagnetic spectrum through advanced jamming techniques. Raytheon delivered the first NGJ-MB pod to the U.S. Navy for testing in July of 2019.