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US Navy clears its new mid-band jammer for low rate production

EA-18G Growler with NGJ-MB
An EA-18G Growler from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 during a recent test of the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) over Southern Maryland. Photo: US Navy

The US Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) program has reached Milestone C approval, paving the way for the program to enter the production and deployment phase and proceed with low rate initial production (LRIP).

The NGJ-MB system is an external jamming pod that will address advanced and emerging threats using the latest digital, software-based and Active Electronically Scanned Array technologies. It will also provide enhanced AEA capabilities to disrupt, deny and degrade enemy air defense and ground communication systems.

“This capability is a game changer for our warfighters and the airborne electronic attack community,” said Rear Adm. Shane Gahagan, Program Executive Officer, Tactical Aircraft Programs. “Milestone C is the critical next step in ensuring that our team will be able to deliver a high-performing, state-of-the-art capability to the fleet.”

Part of a larger NGJ system that will augment and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 tactical jamming system currently used on the EA-18G Growler, NGJ-MB has successfully completed more than 145 hours of developmental flight testing on the Growler and has more than 3,100 hours of chamber and lab testing.

The US and Australia share a cooperative relationship for the development, production, and sustainment of NGJ-MB. In July 2020, the two countries also signed an agreement for cooperation on the next generation jammer low band (NGJ-LB) to ensure commonality on future jamming variants.

“Reaching Milestone C and entering the production phase validates the thousands of test hours and planning that our combined US Navy and Royal Australian Air Force team has contributed to this evolutionary capability, and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Capt. Michael Orr, AEA Systems (PMA-234) program manager, who manages the NGJ-MB program.

Raytheon is responsible for delivering the NGJ-MB pod to the US Navy.