The team developing two of the three variants of the AN/ALQ-249 next generation jammer (NGJ) has been recognised with a Department of the (US) Navy test and evaluation (T&E) award for the program.
The award was based on the T&E team – part of the US Navy’s PMA-234 Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) Systems Program Office – being able to develop new test strategies including modelling and simulation during the pandemic that allowed the program to stay on schedule and within budget.
“This was an incredible collaboration between the program office, NAVAIR [Naval Air Systems Command], the test community, big Navy, and industry,” PMA-234 program manager, Capt Michael Orr said in a NAVAIR release. “The team moved mountains in 2020 to support critical test efforts for NGJ-MB and NGJ-LB, which are complex enough as we integrate cutting edge technology into a system of systems. What is truly remarkable is that they accomplished these efforts simultaneously and during a worldwide pandemic.”
“This award recognizes our highly talented, joint cooperative US and Australian team, and is a testament to the diversity of agencies supporting the development of these critical capabilities…”
PMA-234 T&E lead, Dan Ensminger added, “We were challenged to think outside the box and try new approaches during the test strategy development, and the resulting TEMPs [Test and Evaluation Master Plans] met the needs of the warfighter efficiently while addressing relevant stakeholder concerns.”
Being developed for the Boeing EA-18G Growler under a joint US Navy-Australian cooperative development program, the two variants of the NGJ – the ALQ-249(V)1 mid-band and (V)2 low band – will replace the AN/ALQ-99 tactical jamming system in service. A third (V)3 high-band version is planned to begin testing from 2024.
The NGJ-MB is being built by Raytheon Technologies and commenced flight trials in August 2020. The NGJ-LB is currently undergoing a technology demonstration phase with concepts provided by Northrop Grumman and L3Harris being assessed.