Farnborough 2014: Raytheon to test Next-Gen Jammer in September
Jane's Defence Weekly

Raytheon will flight test a prototype version of its Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) on a Gulfstream 550 in September, company officials disclosed on 14 July.

Travis Slocumb, vice president of Electronic Warfare Systems at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems, said during a briefing at the Farnborough Airshow that the "self-powering pod" would be flight tested at the US Navy's (USN's) Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake later in the year.

The USN awarded Raytheon a USD279 million contract for the 22-month technology development phase of the NGJ in July 2013. BAE Systems immediately filed a protest with the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) and in November 2013 the GAO ruled that the USN should re-evaluate the industry bids for the NGJ programme because the contract award to Raytheon was the result of a flawed review.

In January 2014 the USN announced that Raytheon would keep the contract following the results of a cost/technical trade-off study.

The NGJ system is intended to replace the ageing ALQ-99 jammer on the USN's EA-18G Growler advanced electronic attack aircraft and is expected to enter service in around 2020.

While declining to go into too many details, Slocumb said that the NGJ would allow the warfighter to "monitor, understand, exploit, and even control the electromagnetic spectrum".

The NGJ offered "unprecedented operating bandwidth as well as beam agility and AESA technologies" to "deal with next-generation complex and dynamic threat environments ... in contested airspace", he said. "Our legacy products could not do that. They were not designed to do that."

The test at China Lake will be "a milestone in the history of electronic attack", he added. "It's here, it's now, and in addition to the [USN] programme we are investing quite heavily in this capability."

Raytheon also provided some details on the High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missile (HARM) Control Section Modification (HCSM) upgrade, with Cesar Rodriguez, Director of Business Strategy, Air Warfare Systems, saying that the addition of GPS/IMU navigation would allow the missile to "fly better and optimise its flight profile" when heading towards the target.

Rodriguez added that the HCSM had other unspecified features that also reduced the "risk of fratricide or collateral damage."

Credit: James Hardy Farnborough

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