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US Navy receives first AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band pods

9th August 2022 - 16:31 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pod equipped on an EA-18G Growler (Photo: Raytheon)

The US Navy's Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pod will soon move toward operational testing.

The US Navy's first AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) production representative pods have been delivered to the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Patuxent River, Maryland. 

The two fleet representative test articles, which make up a NGJ-MB shipset were originally handed over to the navy on 7 July, but the announcement itself was made on 8 August by Raytheon. 

The Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office (PMA-234) pod shop will be used to complete the NGJ-MB developmental test programme and subsequently support operational testing, requiring the use of operationally representative hardware and software, noted the manufacturer. 

Developmental testing will also see involvement from VX-23 and VX-31, located at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake, California, and operational testing will be conducted by VX-9 at Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake. 

Lt. Alexander Belbin, AEA project officer with NAWCAD’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 said that the tests will cover the power generated by the new pods, 'the frequency range they operate in, and the effects we can achieve against expected targets across the spectrum.' 

NGJ-MB has so far completed more than 300 hours of developmental flight testing and has more than 5,000 hours of chamber and lab testing using engineering development models, according to figures from Raytheon. 

It also noted that NGJ-MB is part of a larger system designed to augment and replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System currently equipped on the EA-18G Growler.

Raytheon is under contract to provide six NGJ-MB shipsets to the US Navy.

'Once the flight test program is complete, the pods will be sent to the fleet in conjunction with the first Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) shipsets for Initial Operational Capability (IOC), which is scheduled for fall 2023,' added the manufacturer. 

Alongside the US Navy, the Royal Australian Air Force's EA-18G Growler fleet will also receive the new pods. 

The Shephard News Team


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