The US Navy has awarded a US$495.5m (A$643m) Milestone-B contract to L3Harris for the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) of the AN/ALQ-249(V)2 next generation jammer – low band (NGJ-LB).
The contract will provide for the production and delivery of eight operational prototype pods, 10 pod simulators, four jettison mass model pods, two captive mass models, two mission system prototypes, and two technique development systems.
L3Harris and Northrop Grumman had each previously been awarded two development contracts for the NGJ-LB, the second of the three-phased AN/ALQ-249 series of pods which will replace the AN/ALQ-99 tactical jammer pod used by US Navy and RAAF Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft.
“This is an outstanding milestone from the NGJ-LB program, and an unparalleled accomplishment for the extended PMA-234 team,” the US Navy’s Airborne Electronic Attack Systems (PMA-234) program manager, Capt Michael Orr said in a statement.
“They have executed the program flawlessly to date, completed a major shift in acquisition strategy this summer by transitioning from a Middle Tier of Acquisition program to an Acquisition Category (ACAT)-1B program of record, completed a demonstration of technologies effort, and conducted a major source selection – and they did it all during a worldwide pandemic.”
The AN/ALQ-249(V)1 NGJ-mid band (MB) jammer is the lead pod of the three systems. The NJG-MB is being developed by Raytheon and entered flight test in August 2020, while the NGJ-high band (HB) pod will follow from 2022 as development of the NGJ-LB winds up.
As the only other operator of the EA-18G, Australia is a cooperative development partner on all three phases of the NGJ program.