The US Navy successfully conducted the first flight of the AN/ALQ-249(V)1 Next Generation Jammer – Mid-band (NGJ-MB) aboard a Boeing EA-18G Growler on August 7.
Being developed by Raytheon for the US Navy and Australia to replace the ageing AN/ALQ-99 tactical jamming system (TJS) currently operated by the US Navy and RAAF aboard their Growlers, the first safety-of-flight checkout flight is a significant milestone in the new NGJ’s flight test program.
“What an incredible day for the US Navy, our Australian partners, and the Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) community,” the US Navy’s Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) Systems (PMA-234) program manager, Capt Michael Orr said in a release.
“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.”
US Navy test squadron VX23 pilot, Lt Jonathan Williams added, “There was a lot of discussion on how the NGJ-MB pod would affect how the Growler handles, and it was exciting to have the jet feel like any other flight. We have a great test team to thank for making today happen, and I look forward to seeing how the Growler team brings out the full potential of the NGJ-MB pod.”
The ALQ-249(V)1 is the first of a family of three EW pods which will make up the NGJ system, the others being the (V)2 low-band (NGJ-LB), and the (V)3 high-band (NGJ-HB) systems. Australia is a partner in the development of the NGJ-MB, and Defence Minister Senator Linda Reynolds confirmed on August 10 that the partnership would be extended to the NGJ-LB development.