The U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) developmental pod recently completed a portion of developmental testing in the Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility anechoic chamber at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

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.”

According to a news release:

“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. 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.”

NGJ-MB will enter flight testing at the Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 this spring.

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Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

No doubt these will provide a very useful role in future conflicts. Australia has ordered a batch of the latest version of these I believe?

F-35A Joint Strike Fighters Fly With EA-18G Growlers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQEuIcoONOE

Nigel Collins
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Nigel Collins

This video gives a better insight as to what we might expect to see in the near future.

US Navy and Boeing Use Manned Jet to Control Drone Growlers

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Xtt94bS2Vc

Ethan
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Ethan

Better make them F35 friendly. Or our two brand spanking new carriers will have no suppression of air defence capability.

dan
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dan

I seriously doubt these pods/systems will be integrated into the F-35.
Btw, the F-35 already has a pretty good jamming capability built in. Not in the same class as the Growler but still effective for the operations it will do from the Brit CVs. If the Brits need the big jammers they will call in the US and now the Aussie Growlers like they have always done.

Rudeboy
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Rudeboy

There have been proposals to integrate the NGJ to the F-35 for some time. However, the lack of a 2 seat version of the F-35 seriously restricts their viability, simply put you need the additional crew member to work the system. In addition the NGJ are about the draggiest store to carry, any aircraft carrying it (including the EA-18G) has drastically reduced range (is not just the bulk, its the drag from the air turbines that provide power). Basically its useless for carrier ops unless you’ve got guaranteed tanking available. Which a USN carrier does. Any F-35B mounted one could… Read more »

DaveyB
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DaveyB

It is unlikely at present that the F35s will get a separate jammer pod. At the moment it doesn’t need one. There are really two types of jammer pods, one for self defence, the other for offence. The Tornado carried the Sky Shadow pod, this was more of a self defence jammer as it put a protective bubble, in essence, around the aircraft. For its time it was quite sophisticated, but isn’t a patch on the more modern jammers that use digital radio frequency memory (DRFM). The Typhoons have their own dedicated built-in jammer system called Praetorian. This uses DRFM… Read more »

Matt C
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Matt C

The stealth and electronic attack capabilities of the F-35 actually make them ideal for SEAD missions. Jamming is exponentially more effective the closer you can get the hammer to the radar, and the F-35 can get in much closer than the Growler. Which is why the Navy will employ Growlers for stand-OFF jamming, and F-35Cs for stand-IN jamming.

Paul42
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Paul42

The USMC is already working on integrating jamming pods into the F35B. Once they’ve completed the process I’m sure they will be available to the UK if we want them.