FARNBOROUGH, 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.