Boeing to Provide NGJ for EA-18G in $308M Deal
Jan 03, 2017 00:58 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
Boeing will provide Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) integration services for the US Navy’s EA-18G aircraft in a deal worth $308 million. Work ordered in the contract includes the program’s engineering phase, as well as the design and manufacturing tasks for 12 ECP 6472 kits, NGJ pod testing, and additional supporting equipment. The NGJ is a Raytheon-led effort to improve airborne electronic warfare capabilities while replacing the existing AN/ALQ-99 pods used by EA-18G Growler aircraft. Industry partners are aiming to reach initial operating capability for the new pods in 2021.
Defense Industry Daily
Release No: CR-249-16
Dec. 29, 2016
The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, is being awarded $308,343, 387 for modification P00004 to a previously awarded cost reimbursement contract (N00019-16-C-0032) to provide for the engineering change proposal (ECP) 6472 integration of Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Pod onto the EA-18G aircraft. This effort is in support of the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the NGJ program and will include the design and manufacturing of 12 ECP 6472 A kits, and the integration, demonstration, and test of NGJ pods on the EA-18G Aircraft and equipment needed for System Integration Laboratories. Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri (89.43 percent); Bethpage, New York (8.47 percent); Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (1.16 percent); El Segundo, California (0.54 percent); Mesa, Arizona (0.20 percent); Fort Walton Beach, Florida (0.10 percent); and Annapolis-Junction, Maryland (0.10 percent), and is expected to be completed in December 2021. Fiscal 2017 research, development, testing and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $11,000,000 will be obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity. Source defense.gov
Electronic warfare: Navy advances next-generation jammer
The Navy’s Next-Generation Jammer, to be ready by 2021, is designed to jam multiple radars at the same time and defeat future high-tech enemy air defenses.
- BY KRIS OSBORN
- OCT 10, 2016
The Navy is engineering a new, more powerful, high-tech electronic warfare jamming technology designed to allow strike aircraft to destroy enemy targets without being detected by modern surface-to-air missile defenses.
“The whole idea is to get the enemy air defense systems from seeing the strike package. It does not matter what type of aircraft we are protecting. Our mission is to suppress enemy air defenses and allow the mission to continue. This is not just designed to allow the aircraft to survive but also allow it to continue the mission – deliver ordnance and return home,” Cmdr. Ernest Winston, Electronic Attack Requirements Officer, said in an interview.
The Next-Generation Jammer consists of two 15-foot long PODs beneath the EA-18G Growler aircraft designed to emit radar-jamming electronic signals; one jammer goes on each side of the aircraft. Radar technology sends an electromagnetic ping forward, bouncing it off objects before analyzing the return signal to determine a target’s location, size, shape and speed…etc. However, if the electromagnetic signal is interfered with, thwarted or “jammed” in some way, the system is then unable to detect the objects, or target, in the same way.
“It is able to jam multiple frequencies at the same time — more quickly and more efficiently,” he said.
The emerging system uses a high-powered radar technology called Active Electronic Scanned Array, or AESA.
“It will be the only AESA-based carrier offensive electronic attack jamming pod it DoD. What it is really going to bring to the fleet is increased power, increased flexibility and more capacity to jam more radars at one time,” Winston added.
The NGJ, slated to be operational by 2021, is intended to replace the existing ALQ 99 electronic warfare jammer currently on Navy Growler aircraft.
The new jammer is designed to interfere with ground-and-air based threats such as enemy fighter jets trying to get a missile “lock” on a target.
One of the drawbacks to ALQ 99 is that it was initially designed 40-years ago and is challenged to keep up with modern threats and digital threats with phased array radars, increased power, increased processing and more advanced wave forms, Winston explained.
The Next-Generation Jammer is being engineered with what’s called “open architecture,” meaning it is built with open computing software and hardware standards such that it can quickly integrate new technologies as threats emerge.
For example, threat libraries or data-bases incorporated into a radar warning receiver can inform pilots of specific threats such as enemy fighter aircraft or air defenses. If new adversary aircraft become operational, the system can be upgraded to incorporate that information.
“We use threat libraries in our receivers as well as our jammers to be able to jam the new threat radars. As new threats emerge, we will be able to devise new jamming techniques. Those are programmable through the mission planning system through the mission planning system of the EA-18G Growler,” Winston explained.
While radar warning receivers are purely defensive technologies, the NGJ is configured with offensive jamming capabilities in support of strike aircraft such as an F/A-18 Super Hornet or F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
The jammer is intended to preemptively jam enemy radars and protect aircraft by preventing air defenses from engaging.
“With surface-to-air missile systems, we want to deny that track an engagement opportunity. We try to work with the aircraft to jam enemy radar signals,” Winston added.
The NGJ could be particularly helpful when it comes to protecting fighter aircraft and stealth platforms like the B-2 bomber, now-in-development Long Range Strike-Bomber and the F-35 multi-role stealth fighter. The technology is designed to block, jam, thwart or “blind” enemy radar systems such as ground-based integrated air defenses – so as to allow attack aircraft to enter a target area, conduct strikes and then safely exit.
This is useful in today’s modern environment because radar-evading stealth configurations, by themselves, are no longer as dominant or effective against current and emerging air-defense technologies.
Today’s modern air defenses, such as the Russian-made S-300 and multi-function S-400 surface-to-air missiles, will increasingly be able to detect stealth aircraft at longer distances and on a wider range of frequencies. Today’s most cutting edge systems, and those being engineered for the future, use much faster computer processors, use more digital technology and network more to one another.
“Multi-function radars become much more difficult because you have a single radar source that is doing almost everything with phased array capability. However, with the increased power of the next-generation jammer we can go after those,” Winston said.
“It is a constant cat and mouse game between the shooter and the strike aircraft. We develop stealth and they develop counter-stealth technologies. We then counter it with increased jamming capabilities.”
The NGJ is engineered to jam and defeat both surveillance radar technology which can alert defenses that an enemy aircraft is in the area as well as higher-frequency “engagement” radar which allow air defenses to target, track and destroy attacking aircraft.
“The target engagement radar or control radar has a very narrow scope, so enemy defenses are trying to search the sky. We are making enemies search the sky looking through a soda straw. When the only aperture of the world is through a soda straw, we can force them into a very narrow scope so they will never see aircraft going in to deliver ordnance,” Winston said.
Winston would not elaborate on whether the NGJ’s offensive strike capabilities would allow it to offensively attack enemy radio communications, antennas or other kinds of electronic signals.
“It can jam anything that emits or receives and RF frequency in the frequency range of NGJ — it could jam anything that is RF capable,” he explained.
The U.S. Navy recently awarded Raytheon Company a $1 billion sole source contract for Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) for Increment 1 of the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ), the advanced electronic attack technology that combines high-powered, agile, beam-jamming techniques with cutting-edge, solid-state electronics,” a Raytheon statement said.
Raytheon will deliver 15 Engineering Development Model pods for mission systems testing and qualification, and 14 aeromechanical pods for airworthiness certification.
The NGJ contract also covers designing and delivering simulators and prime hardware to government labs and support for flight testing and government system integration, Raytheon officials said.
Overall, the Navy plans to buy as many as 135 sets of NGJs for the Growler. At the same time, Winston did say it is possible that the NGJ will be integrated onto other aircraft in the future.
“This is a significant milestone for electronic warfare,” said Rick Yuse, president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. “NGJ is a smart pod that provides today’s most advanced electronic attack technology, one that can easily be adapted to changing threat environments. That level of sophistication provides our warfighters with the technological advantage required to successfully prosecute their mission and return home safely.”
Next generation jammer moves into $1B development phase
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