Raytheon, a US defence prime and RTX subsidiary, will develop its ‘Controlled, Advanced, Distributed Radio Frequency Effects’ (CADRE) enough to integrate them with the US Navy’s Next Generation Jammer (NGJ).

The US Department of Defense allocated $40.59m to the supplier on 3 April 2024, to advance CADRE from technology readiness level (TRL) three to TRL six.

The work will be divided into three phases: System Design and Risk Reduction; Detailed Design, Integration and Verification; and Ground Test and Flight Demonstration.

These phases aim to achieve measurable progress toward the long-term Future Naval Capabilities objective of multi-aircraft flight demonstration. Work will be performed in McKinney, Texas, and the base effort is expected to be completed in November 2025.

Next Generation Jammer

NGJ is the next step in Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA). It is needed to meet emerging electronic warfare (EW) threats. The system will augment, and ultimately replace, the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System that is currently used on the Navy’s EA-18G Growler Electronic Attack aircraft.

Using the latest digital software and Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technologies, NGJ provides enhanced AESA capabilities to disrupt, deny, and degrade enemy air defence and ground communication systems. It brings increased power and jamming capability at longer ranges.

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Additionally, the system allows for rapid hardware and software updates to counter improving and evolving threat capabilities.

A little over a year ago, the DoD awarded Raytheon a $650m contract for the production of 15 low-rate initial production Lot III NGJ mid-band ship sets, 11 of which were to be used by the US Navy and four for the Royal Australian Navy.

At the time, a GlobalData Defence Analyst commented that these sets will be “more powerful, have open-source systems for software and hardware upgrades, and use AESA technology themselves sometimes. Details on jamming tech like this can be sparse but consider it a likely upgrade in most or all ways.”

Now, Raytheon will enhance the NGJ further with CADRE capabilities in its evolution to continually outmatch emerging EW capabilities. The global EW market, valued at $13.9bn in 2023, is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4.6% over the next decade. GlobalData anticipates the market will reach $21.8bn by 2033 and cumulatively value $194.2bn over the forecast period.