be very responsive to a wide range of mission requirements,” he said. “Second, it will minimize the need for
hardware changes to meet the future threats, and, finally,
it will give the Navy the flexibility to readily accept
upgrades and modifications to meet future challenges.
“As the Navy continues to refine the AEA require-
ments for NGJ and identify opportunities for both
manned and unmanned aircraft as part of the system, the
concept of scalability will be crucial,” Stavropoulos said.
“Scalability will allow the NGJ approach to be tailored for
integration into many systems beyond aircraft, such as
into both ground and ship platforms. This concept of
multiple platforms operating in a common architecture
across the domains of air, land and sea has the potential
to revolutionize how we think of electronic attack.”
“The NGJ is expected to fill the same role as the cur-
rent ITT/EDO-designed ALQ-99 pod, but with vastly
improved capability, such as increased radiated power,
new modern jamming modulations and the ability to
target multiple, geographically separated threats simul-
taneously,” said Bob Ferrante, vice president and gen-
eral manager of ITT Electronic Systems’ Airborne
Electronic Attack business area. “It is a challenge pack-
aging all this additional capability inside a family of
fewer distinct pod types. While the complete ALQ-99
consisted of a family of 10 different pod types, the NGJ
will be housed in as few as three pod types.
“For the NGJ to effectively jam enemy airspace, it
requires a large amount of independently generated
prime power,” Ferrante said. “This power cannot be
siphoned from the Growler. Therefore, creating sufficient power with a ram-air turbine or other power
source is a serious technical challenge.
“Broadband electronically steerable arrays will allow
the NGJ to target multiple threats simultaneously and
allow for a near instantaneous movement of transmit
beams. Our solution, which has the advantage of being
based on prior technology development performed on
behalf of the [Air Force’s] B- 52 support jamming pro-
gram, provides industry-leading capability in antenna
ITT’s partner, Boeing, brings to the competition “its
knowledge of its EA-18G aircraft and its expertise in
pod design and large-scale aircraft systems integration
to the EA-18G,” Ferrante said.
In mid-2012, the Navy expects to select two of the
teams to “take the technologies to the next level and
design a whole system and prototype it,” Green said.
The teams will conduct a flight and capability
demonstration of their systems on an aircraft of their
choice. The prototype phase is expected to run approximately 27 months.
Green said the initial operational capability of the
NGJ is planned for 2019.
An EA-18G Growler assigned to Electronic Attack
Squadron 141 lands during flight operations aboard the
aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Atlantic
Oct. 23. The Navy will integrate the Next-Generation
Jammer onto Growler aircraft first.
“We’re trying to balance the fact that we want something out there as soon as possible, but it’s got to be a
game-changing-type [of] transformational capability,”
“In its lifespan, the ALQ-99 has already survived one
platform,” moving from the EA-6B to the EA-18G,
Filipowski said. “I would anticipate that the [NGJ] also
will, similarly, probably outpace the lifespan of some of the
aircraft that it would be integrated with in the long run.”
Integration is one of the main challenges for fielding
electronic warfare capabilities in the fleet, and that is
not limited to the challenge of integrating a system on
two or more different platforms.
“One of the paradigms that we continue to look at
and show a lot of interest in is electronic warfare battle
management,” Green said. “We’re realizing that we’ve
got to better integrate all of the systems that we use.
We have to really line up the receiver with the jammer
and make sure that they work well together.
“The same thing goes on in the communications
world,” he said. “There are a lot of systems that communicate on the adversary side and we’ve got to be
able to manage and control that spectrum at the time
and place of our choosing so that we have an effective
way to assess and deal with those threats.
“With this electronic battle management paradigm,
we’re looking to go outside of the platform and integrate across a range of systems to make sure that
they’re all working in contour with one another,”
“What this is really about is capabilities that enable
us to fight and win in the electromagnetic spectrum,”
Filipowski said. ■