The first production-representative ALQ-249(v)1 Next Generation Jammer-Mid Band (NGJ-MB) electronic warfare pods were delivered by Raytheon Technologies to the US Navy in early July.
With two pods per shipset, the first of six shipsets was delivered to the US Navy’s PMA-234 Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland where they will be used for the system’s developmental test (DT) and operational test (OT) programs.
The NGJ has been designed to replace the US Navy’s and Royal Australian Air Force’s AN/ALQ-99 tactical jamming pods employed by the Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft. The NGJ is being produced in three variants – the ALQ-249(V)1 mid-band which has been developed by Raytheon, the (V)2 low-band designed by L3Harris, and the (V)3 high-band pod, the development of which is yet to be launched.
“We will test the pods for everything we expect to encounter in the fleet,” Lt Alexander Belbin, AEA project officer with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 said in an 8 August release. “For example, the power they generate, the frequency range they operate in, and the effects we can achieve against expected targets across the spectrum.”
To date, the NGJ-MB has completed some 300 hours of development flight testing and 5,000 hours of chamber and lab testing as part of its development.
The system is being co-operatively developed by the US Navy and the RAAF, with Australia contributing funding, engineering, and program support towards its development under the ADF’s Project AIR 5349 Phase 6 requirement. Low-rate initial production (LRIP) shipsets are scheduled to be delivered to operational US Navy units in time for an initial operational capability (IOC) by the end of 2023, and to the RAAF in 2024.