Home Americas US Navy’s next generation jammer – low band enters engineering phase

US Navy’s next generation jammer – low band enters engineering phase

NGJ-MB on an EA-18G Growler
Illustration: US Navy photo of an NGJ-MB on an EA-18G Growler.

The US Navy’s next generation jammer low band (NGJ-LB) program has received approval to enter the engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) acquisition phase.

The decision was made on December 8 by James Geurts, Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, which is the NGJ-LB milestone decision authority.

NGJ-LB is progressing to the EMD phase several months after the next generation jammer mid-band (NGJ-MB) pod flew on an EA-18G Growler for the first time in August this year.

Both NGJ-LB and NGJ-MB are part of a larger NGJ system that will augment, and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 tactical jamming system (TJS) currently used on the EA-18G Growler.

“This is an outstanding milestone from the NGJ-LB program, and an unparalleled accomplishment for the extended PMA-234 team,” said US Navy Capt. Michael Orr, Airborne Electronic Attack Systems (PMA-234) program manager. “With Milestone B approval, we are that much closer to providing the Low Band capability to the fleet.”

During the EMD phase, NGJ-LB will be further developed and tested prior to the production phase to ensure the US Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force receive the capability that meets the warfighter’s requirement. The US Navy and the Australian defense ministry signed a project agreement this July to enter into a international cooperative development program agreement.

The ACAT-1B NGJ-LB capability is currently in source selection to choose an EMD prime contractor to develop the NGJ-LB operational prototypes. The contract award is slated for late 2020.

Like NGJ-MB, NGJ-LB is an external jamming pod that will address advanced and emerging threats using the latest digital, software-based array technologies and will provide enhanced AEA capabilities to disrupt, deny and degrade enemy air defense and ground communication systems.