The US Navy has awarded US$35m (A$50m) contracts each to L3 and Northrop Grumman to continue the development of the AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) on October 25, after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) dismissed a protest by Raytheon.
The NGJ-LB is the second increment of a three-phased development project to replace the venerable AN/ALQ-99 Tactical jamming System (TJS) in service with the US Navy and the RAAF onboard the EA-18G Growler. Raytheon is developing the AN/ALQ-249 NGJ-Mid Band (MB) or Increment 1 pod which the US Navy hops to begin fielding in 2021.
“Northrop Grumman will deliver a mature, low-risk and exceedingly capable solution for Next Generation Jammer Low Band that outpaces evolving threats and enables the Navy’s speed-to-fleet path,” Northrop Grumman’s vice president and general manager airborne C4ISR systems, Thomas Jones told USNI. “Our NGJ-LB pod provides multi-mission capability for electromagnetic manoeuvre warfare. We stand ready to demonstrate advancements in this mission area and deliver ahead of schedule.”
The increment 2 NGJ-LB is due to commence testing in 2019 before the winning contractor is selected, and achieve an initial operational capability (IOC) in 2027. The yet-to-be-awarded Increment 3 AN/ALQ-249 NGJ-High Band (HB) pod is expected to follow 12-24 months after.
The RAAF is a cooperative development partner with the US Navy on the AN/ALQ-249 NGJ.