EA-18G GROWLER’s AN/ALQ-249 NEXT GENERATION JAMMER DEVELOPMENT CONTINUES ON TRACK

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The AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer Inc 1 Mid-band capability, once fielded, will transform the way the U.S. Navy conducts electronic warfare

As reported by Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) news release, the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems and EA-6B program office (PMA-234) completed a critical design review (CDR) for the AN/ALQ-249 Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Increment (Inc) 1 Mid-band program at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, in late April.

CDR determined that the design and development are on track to meet crucial warfighter requirements, and fabrication, demonstration and test could proceed.

The system is now in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase with Raytheon Space and Air Systems, the pod prime contractor, and Boeing, the EA-18G Growler aircraft integration prime contractor. The AN/ALQ-249 NGJ Inc 1 Mid-band capability, once fielded, will transform the way the U.S. Navy conducts electronic warfare.

The system in fact will address the emerging, advanced threats and increased threat density using the latest Active Electronically Scanned Array, also known as AESA, digital and software-based technologies.

The EA-18G Growler electronic warfare aircraft, which replaced the EA-6B Prowler, is the fourth major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite.

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The aircraft retains all of the F/A-18E/Fs multi-mission capabilities with its validated design and the capability to perform a wide range of enemy defense suppression missions.

Moreover the extensive commonality between the F/A-18E/F and the EA-18G Growler, as well as its flexible platform, gives the Growler much-needed room for future upgrades and growth.

The first Growler test aircraft went into production in Oct. 2004 and made its first flight in Aug. 2006.

The first production aircraft was delivered on Jun. 3, 2008 to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, the Fleet Replacement Squadron for the type, at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash. Initial operational capability (IOC) and full rate production followed in fall 2009. In 2010, three squadrons, VAQ-132, 141 and 138, transitioned from the Prowler to the Growler and were declared safe-for-flight.

The Scorpions of VAQ-132 deployed to Iraq as an expeditionary squadron from NAS Whidbey Island, in the fall of 2010. The Shadowhawks of VAQ-141 deployed in the spring of 2011 aboard the USS George H. W. Bush.

Top image: U.S. Navy

Photo credit: Lance Cpl. Andy Martinez / U.S. Navy

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

Additional source: U.S. Navy