Home Military Aviation US Navy Hoists EA-18G Growler to complete Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Electromagnetic Environmental Effects testing

US Navy Hoists EA-18G Growler to complete Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Electromagnetic Environmental Effects testing

by Dario Leone
US Navy Hoists EA-18G Growler to complete Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Electromagnetic Environmental Effects testing

Next step is flight testing with VX-23 and Milestone C is projected for the end of this fiscal year.

The US Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has hoisted a real EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft into the air at the Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility anechoic chamber at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland, to test the Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) pod.

In fact, the NGJ-MB recently completed more than 400 hours of basic functionality, Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) data collection and performance testing.

As told by Kristine Wilcox, Airborne Electronic Attack Systems (PMA-234) communications, in the article Next-Gen Jammer Mid-Band pod completes developmental testing, the NGJ-MB Engineering Development Model (EDM) pods, developed by the Raytheon Company in El Segundo, California, completed more than 400 hours of basic functionality, Electromagnetic Environmental Effects (E3) data collection and performance testing over a period of three months.

“This chamber test period was instrumental to the NGJ-MB Developmental Test program, and its success was the direct result of outstanding teamwork among the Program Office, Integrated Test Team, and Raytheon stakeholders,” said Capt. Michael Orr, Airborne Electronic Attack Systems (PMA-234) program manager. “Data captured during this period not only supports our initial flight clearance, but also provided lessons learned that will benefit the entire NGJ-MB test program moving forward.” 

The NGJ-MB system consists of two pods, referred to as a shipset, which will be loaded onto EA-18G Growler aircraft. The system will provide significantly improved Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) capabilities against advanced threats in the mid-band frequency range through enhanced agility and precision within jamming assignments, increased interoperability and expanded broadband capacity for greater threat coverage against a wide variety of radio frequency emitters.

US Navy Hoists EA-18G Growler to complete Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band Electromagnetic Environmental Effects testing

Unlike most capabilities that instantly replace its predecessor, the NGJ-MB systems will initially augment the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System until the low- and high-band components are ready to deploy.

With a combination of agile, active electronically scanned arrays and an all-digital back end, it gives E/A-18 Growler pilots an edge in the hotly contested electromagnetic spectrum.

NGJ-MB enables:

– Operating at significantly enhanced ranges

– Attacking multiple targets simultaneously

– Advanced jamming techniques – Rapid upgrades through a modular, open systems architecture

Next step is flight testing with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) and Milestone C is projected for the end of this fiscal year.

PMA-234 is responsible for acquiring, delivering and sustaining AEA systems, providing combatant commanders with capabilities that enable mission success.

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Photo credit: U.S. Navy

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