The U.S. Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Low Band (NGJ-LB) programme successfully completed test events at two Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, facilities simultaneously and with limited staffing while remaining on schedule despite significant COVID-19 restrictions.
Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Program Office (PMA-234) NGJ-LB team was ready to begin its final Demonstration of Existing Technologies testing when COVID-19 restrictions were put into place. According to a news release:
“After a quick reassessment, the team held teleconference meetings with Naval Test Wing Atlantic Chief Flight Surgeon, government, and contractor participants to gain consensus on quarantine and test execution requirements. They made the required Center for Disease Control and NAVAIR readjustments and were still able to complete testing with two contractors’ prototype pods at both Air Combat Environmental Test and Evaluation Facility (ACETEF) and the Facility for Antenna and RCS Measurement (FARM) in less than two months.”
“Our start was delayed two and a half weeks to comply with a request from one of the contractors to delay testing in order to self-quarantine their personnel,” said Dan Doster, NGJ-LB Assistant Program Manager for Test and Evaluation.
“This started a cascading effect that resulted in our test execution days being reduced from 15 to 10 days for the ACETEF test events for each contractor, but the team still managed to stay on schedule.”
NGJ-LB is part of a larger NGJ weapon system that will augment, and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System currently used for Airborne Electronic Attack on the EA-18G Growler aircraft.