Raytheon has been awarded a US$650.4m (A$975m) contract by the US Navy for a low rate initial production (LRIP) batch of 15 AN/ALQ-249(V1) Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Mid-Band (MB) pod shipsets for the US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force.
The contract covers 15 shipsets, each of which comprises two pods, with 11 shipsets destined for the US Navy, and four for the RAAF. The NGJ system is being developed to replace the ageing AN/ALQ-99 jammer pods used aboard Boeing EA-18G Growlers in US Navy and RAAF service. Australia’s pods comprise US$182.4m (A$273.5m) of the contract value.
The RAAF is a cooperative development partner with the US Navy on the NGJ program, and RAAF personnel have been training on the program at NAS Patuxent River near Washington DC with their US Navy counterparts for a couple of years.
Following an extensive 145-hour flight test program and more than 3,000 hours of anechoic chamber and lab testing, the NGJ-MB achieved its Milestone-C LRIP approval in July 2021.
The NGJ system is being developed in three phases, with the NGJ-MB developed by Raytheon first to enter service. Next will be the AN/ALQ-249(V)2 NGJ Low Band (LB) for which L3Harris was awarded a Milestone-B engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) contract in January 2021. This will be followed by the (V)3 high-band (HB) pod, a contractor for which hasn’t been selected yet.