Microwave Journal

Northrop Grumman Continues Pursuit of Electronic Warfare

December 1, 2009

Northrop Grumman Corp. has submitted its proposal for the Technology Maturation phase in the US Navy's competition to develop and field the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ). The jammer will complete the Navy's fielding of a flexible, adaptable weapon that will help defeat enemies on the electronic battlefield, whose weapons can range from those developed in defense laboratories to weapons procured from the corner store. The company estimates that the eventual NGJ production program value could be hundreds of millions of dollars or more to the winning competitor.

NGJ will function as the "shooting end" for the new Northrop Grumman-built airborne electronic attack weapon system on board the EA-18G Growler. It is a critical replacement for the pre-digital ALQ-99 jamming system that, though still effective, faces diminishing availability of components and capabilities in the face of digital threats that improve and adapt almost daily.

"The first shot fired in a conflict is no longer a bullet. It's an electron," said Stephen Hogan, Vice President of Northrop Grumman Information Operations and Electronic Attack. "We saw how the Russians used electronic attack in Georgia, and we see every day how terrorists operate, using store-bought electronics to harm our soldiers and innocent bystanders.

"Northrop Grumman essentially invented airborne electronic attack five decades ago to protect our military, and we recently won awards for our new system for the Growlers. We understand this kind of warfare and have the new ideas to deliver the Next Generation Jammer on time and within budget," said Hogan.

The Navy is expected to select up to four competing teams for NGJ Technology Maturation contracts in the first quarter of 2010. These teams would refine their system concepts and components in preparation for a down select in 2011, when the Navy is expected to award two Technology Demonstration contracts that will incorporate the best of all the proposed technologies. The Navy plans to award an Engineering and Manufacturing Development contract to a single supplier in the fourth quarter of 2012.