The US Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) programme has secured Milestone C approval from the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition.

This approval enables NGJ-MB to enter the production and deployment phase and go ahead with low-rate initial production.

An external jamming pod, the NGJ-MB system will help to address both advanced and emerging threats by leveraging the latest digital, software-based, and Active Electronically Scanned Array technologies.

It will also have enhanced AEA (advanced electronic attack) capabilities that can disrupt, reject, and even degrade enemy air defence and ground communication systems.

Program executive officer for tactical aircraft programmes Rear Admiral Shane Gahagan said: “This capability is a game changer for our warfighters and the Airborne Electronic Attack community.

“Milestone C is the critical next step in ensuring that our team will be able to deliver a high-performing, state-of-the-art capability to the fleet.”

AEA Systems (PMA-234) programme manager Captain Michael Orr said: “Reaching Milestone C and entering the production phase validates the thousands of test hours and planning that our combined US Navy and Royal Australian Air Force team has contributed to this evolutionary capability, and I couldn’t be prouder.”

NGJ-MB is considered to be a part of a larger NGJ system that will enhance and then eventually replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System, which is being presently deployed on the EA-18G Growler.

NGJ-MB has finished over 145 hours of developmental flight testing on the Growler. It also has more than 3,100 hours of chamber and lab testing.

For the development, production, and sustainment of NGJ-MB, the US and Australia share a cooperative agreement.

The programme office has the responsibility to acquire, deliver and sustain AEA systems as well as equip combatant commanders with capabilities for mission success.

In October 2019, NGJ-MB completed the first power generation flight test at Niagara Falls Airport in New York, the US.

In August 2020, NGJ-MB, built by Raytheon Intelligence and Space, completed its first flight test on the EA-18G Growler aircraft.