L3 Technologies and Northrop Grumman each won contract modifications
in support of the Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ LB) controller, receiver, exciter, and power generation subsystems. NGJ-LB
is an external radar and communications jamming pod that is carried underneath an aircraft and is part of a larger series of weapon systems contracts that are planned to ultimately replace the aging ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System currently used on Boeing EA-18G Growlers
. The Navy awarded both companies more then $13 million for the modifications, which also provide for NGJ LB technique development, incorporation of updated goals documents, and environmental testing of the transmitter group. In October, L3 and Northrop won two separate $36 million technology demonstration contracts for the NGJ LB. Work by both companies is scheduled to be completed in June next year.
The US Navy owns the only operational tactical jamming fighters in the world, but the AN/ALQ-99 pods they depend on use analog technologies, are hard to maintain, and have reliability issues. All-digital technologies and modern transmit/receive electronics offer huge leaps ahead in capability and availability, which is why the US military is working on a Next-Generation Jammer (NGJ) replacement for the pods on its tactical strike aircraft.
The EA-18G Growler will be the NGJ’s first platform, but the flexibility of modern technologies mean that it may not be the last.