Northrop Grumman has successfully completed the initial technology maturation (TM) phase of the US Navy’s Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) programme, marking successful progress into its technology development phase.
During the initial TM phase, the programme demonstrated integrated prime power generation system, which involved a series of in-flight demonstrations of NGJ’s prototype pod and prime power generation (PPG) system.
The demonstrations further validated the NJG’s aerodynamic performance of the pod, as well as the ram air turbine (RAT) design’s ability to produce large amounts of power to meet the navy’s requirements, while reducing overall risk.
Steve Hogan, Northrop Grumman information operations and electronic attack vice president, said: "A key goal in our Next Generation Jammer approach is ensuring we identify and mitigate technical risks early."
Following the completion of the TM phase, the US Navy has also awarded a $20m contract to Northrop to further advance the critical technology development elements of the NGJ programme, as well as to mature the concept demonstrator design.
Northrop has been demonstrating detailed design and integration activity of the NJG programme as part of the TM contract awarded in July 2010, which included mission and operational analysis and trades, preliminary design of the pod and RAT, multiple design refinements, as well as construction of the prototype pod and wind tunnel verification.
Working in collaboration with Calspan Corporation’s Flight Research group at Niagara Falls International Airport, Northrop had also integrated the instrumented pod with Calspan’s Gulfstream G-III Airborne Test Bed to validate forecasted performance and interference of the CFD and wind tunnel analysis.
Critical technology elements for the NGJ are being developed by Northrop, in addition to critical design review level designs for testing during the technology demonstration phase.