Home » Air » Raytheon Prep to Test New Electronic Jammer

Raytheon Prep to Test New Electronic Jammer

by Kris Osborn on July 14, 2014

130511-N-RG587-182FARNBOROUGH, England — Raytheon engineers are preparing for the first planned flight of a prototype Next-Generation Jammer pod aboard a Gulfstream jet this coming September, company officials said July 14 at the Farnborough International Airshow here.

Technology development of the Next-Generation Jammer, or NGJ, was awarded to Raytheon in July of last year through a $279 million Navy contract. The new jammer will bring a new suite of offensive and defensive electronic warfare technologies to the F-18 fighter jet.

“Now with Next Generation Jammer you have the ability to respond to threats and create combinations of beams and techniques very rapidly. You can deal with very dense, dynamic threat environments,” said Travis Slocumb, vice president of EW systems, Raytheon space and airborne systems.

The NGJ is slated to replace the existing ALQ-99 jammers now outfitted onto specially configured Super Hornet fighters called E/A-18G Growler aircraft. The new jammer, slated to be ready by 2020, is being engineered with multiple high efficiency power amplifiers. It is designed to operate in a range of different frequencies, reach dynamic ranges and jam a variety of targets at the same time, Slocumb said.

The EW technologies of the NGJ are tailorable, meaning various combinations of beams can be adjusted depending upon what makes the most sense for the threat, Slocumb explained.

“It is a very powerful system,” he added.

EW jammers on Growler aircraft can be used defensively to help identify the location of a signal from an enemy air defense system on the ground. The system could also help jam the signals or receivers of air defenses or potentially locate and jam signals from other aircraft.

Raytheon officials said now is a crucial time to develop the next-generation of electronic warfare.

“Many of the EW platforms that fought in Desert Storm and Kosovo are reaching their service life level. The enemy has not stopped evolving his threat signal. It is not just the US that is looking at EW – it is global,” said Cesar Rodriguez, director of business development, air warfare systems, Raytheon missile systems.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

hibeam July 14, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Now your cooking with gas. This is the kind of stuff the US does very well and it's a major force multiplier. Make sure you prevent Chinese hackers from downloading every damn detail like happened with the F-35 program.

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BlackOwl18E July 14, 2014 at 8:50 pm

While the F-35 is leaking oil all over the place, setting itself on fire, and sitting on the tarmac grounded the Super Hornet and Growler force is preparing to add an Electronic Attack weapon that will be a game changer against any SAM system or radar emitting enemy.

Navy Super Hornets and Growlers will be more effective at defeating well integrated enemy defense systems than anything the Air Force or the Marine Corps will have.

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Jim Ginger July 15, 2014 at 8:51 am

Yeah, the Navy will Beta test the new hammers, then the Air Force will get them…….

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GuidoFL July 15, 2014 at 10:29 pm

The F-35's sitting next to the F-22's both grounded as failures. NEXT !

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William_C1 July 16, 2014 at 3:32 pm

One's still in development but is set to be a first rate strike fighter, the second is the unmatched king of air-superiority fighters. Hardly failures.

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Ben July 15, 2014 at 12:34 am

"Basically, you're a wizard and this is your staff."
- Raytheon Rep

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The Bone July 15, 2014 at 5:44 am

Saber rattler, I’ll put my bet on the FY-22′s.

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edgar gillham July 15, 2014 at 10:21 am

as design engineer for the ALQ-131 ECM Microwave (classified), and long since retired, I found an interesting online article about these devices being revitalized and put to use again. I would like to know more but I no longer hold a security clearance. Its surprising how much you can learn on line. It seems my devices had a MTBF 6 times longer than typical.

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William_C1 July 15, 2014 at 11:34 am

Good news, this will be a crucial to the long term career of the EA-18G and any other aircraft adapted to carry this jammer. Hopefully we'll see internal and external self-defense ECM gear spun off from the tech used in this.

Coordination + stealth + advanced jamming/electronic warfare + decoys + stand-off weapons is the key to defeating a modern air defense grid.

I doubt the EA-18G has the same loiter time as the old EA-6B so if any Super Bugs deserve the CFTs and upgraded engines it is the Growlers.

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