11 Januari 2017
Raytheon’s Next Generation Jammer (image : Raytheon, Scout)
Australia is looking at options to influence development of Raytheon’s Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) by possibly entering into a cooperative agreement with the US Navy (USN), a senior Australian official revealed.
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) director general of capability planning at Air Force Headquarters, Air Cdre Mike Kitcher, said the NGJ will be a key component of Project Air 5439 Phase 6, a further step in Australia’s Boeing EA-18G Growler airborne electronic attack acquisition programme.
‘Phase 6 is looking at upgrading the current Growler capability to the US Navy-common Advanced Growler capability, and one of the key components of that is the NGJ suite of jamming pods to replace the existing ALQ-99 pods,’ Kitcher said.
‘We’re working hard with the US Navy, looking at options as to how we might enter into a co-development programme with elements of the Advanced Growler capability as well,’ he continued.
Australia is acquiring 12 Growlers under Air 5439 Phase 3, and Australian crews have been working up with USN Growler squadrons ahead of the first aircraft arriving in Australia in February.
Although largely similar to USN aircraft, RAAF Growlers have the added ability to use Raytheon’s ATFLIR targeting pod and AIM-9X air-to-air missiles. Initial operational capability is due in mid-2018.
A further initiative under consideration for the Advanced Growler capability is integration of CEA Technologies’ phased-array radar into a future Advanced Mobile Threat Training Emitter System (MTTES). In December Australia announced a Foreign Military Sales purchase of an initial MTTES capability under Air 3021 Phase 1.
‘The US test community has bought CEA Technology radars, largely for F-35 testing, and I think there is potential for other elements of the US forces to look at adopting our Advanced MTTES system,’ Kitcher said.