The US Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a US$35.2m (A$51.5m) contract to upgrade the AN/ALQ-218 radar warning receiver sensors on the Boeing EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft under that service’s Airborne Electronic Attack System Enhancements (ASE) program.
The work will be performed on behalf of the US Navy, and the RAAF which operates 11 EA-18Gs. It will form a baseline for the US Navy’s Growler Block II (GB2) program which will see the AN/ALQ-249 next gen jammer integrated with the aircraft, as well as other upgrades to the aircraft’s combat system, cockpit displays, and enhanced mission computers and avionics.
Northrop Grumman says the wingtip-mounted ALQ-218 ‘utilises a unique combination of short and long baseline interferometer techniques along with a patented passive ranging algorithm to provide precision geo-location of all ground-based emitters.’
Follow-on contracts are expected to be awarded in 2020 to enable the installation of the enhanced sensors including government furnished (GFE) retrofit kit of weapon removable assemblies (WRAs), specific cabling, and other work packages.