JED - April 2009 - (Page 22)

washington report NEXT-GENERATION JAMMER ON TRACK Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) plans to release a request for proposals (RFP) for follow-on Next-Generation Jammer (NGJ) Technology Maturation studies, following the completion in July of six-month, system-level trade studies by four industry teams. The competitors conducting the ongoing studies are BAE Systems-Cobham, ITT-Boeing, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. The NGJ program aims to provide a replacement for the ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System employed by the Navy’s EA-6B Prowlers and the new EA18G Growler. The NGJ is slated to become operational in 2018 and provide a significant enhancement to the EA-18G’s jamming capabilities – including greater jamming power to counter longer-range air defense systems – at a reduced operations and sustainment cost. The program is managed by the EA-6B/Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) Program Office (PMA-234) at NAVAIR (NAS Patuxent River, MD). CAPT Steve Kochman, who heads PMA-234, told JED that multiple ninemonth Technology Maturation contracts would be awarded in March 2010. They will lead to a Milestone A decision by Pentagon officials allowing the start of a Technology Development phase. This phase will see the award of multiple contracts to demonstrate mature NGJ technologies in system-level prototypes. A Milestone B decision to enter an Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase with a single contractor would follow in FY2013. A required NGJ Analysis of Alternatives (AoA) also is underway that will be completed in FY2010 prior to the Milestone A decision. Conducted by a governmentindustry Integrated Product Team, it entails a detailed evaluation of options to meet the NGJ requirements, including incrementally upgrading the existing ALQ99 jamming pods instead of developing an entirely new replacement for them, and their prospective costs. The Office of Naval Research (ONR), under its Next-Generation AEA Enabling Capability project in support of the NGJ program, awarded 10 companies initial one-year Phase 0 study contracts in November 2007 to identify the critical NGJ technologies requiring further development. ONR plans to award a second round of contracts this year. The remaining years of the NGAEA project will focus on maturing selected components, such as beam-formers and exciters, Kochman said, that could be integrated into NGJ subsystem designs. A key design challenge for a new NGJ external jamming pod is meeting powergeneration and cooling requirements. The ALQ-99 uses a nose-mounted, externally bladed ram-air turbine to provide power. It precludes putting electronic equipment in the front end of the pod, the ideal location for antennas, and it increases aerodynamic drag. Two companies, working for several years under NAVAIR Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts, have developed innovative design configurations that allow the turbine to be located internally and provide active cooling for electronic equipment. These would allow jamming equipment to be located in the forward end of the pod. The two companies are CFD Research Corporation (Huntsville, AL) and Mainstream Engineering Corp. (Rockledge, FL). “Their efforts are starting to pay off,” Kochman said. “Right now, I see them as the primary players investing in this particular technology. Their SBIR work is in Phase 2 and will lead to a subsequent phase with prototype demonstrations. We will expect our prime contractors to integrate those capabilities into their designs.” The Marine Corps hopes the NGJ program will provide a new external jamming pod or internal jamming system for its planned F-35B Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to replace its EA-6Bs, which it plans to keep in service until 2018-2020 – six to eight years longer than the Navy. “It’s really important what the F-35’s concept of operations is,” Kochman said. “How would you employ the NGJ from an F-35? The Marine Corps has been tasked to work with the other services to lead an analysis of that F-35 CONOPS and to feed it into the AoA.” Another desirable outcome of the NGJ program is a scalable jamming system, a version of which could be carried on an unmanned aerial vehicle, he said. Kochman added that his program office is working on integrating a jamming package on the Navy’s turbojet-powered Improved Tactical Air-Launched Decoy (ITALD), 400 to 500 of which are in its inventory. He said ITALD-J would complement the Air Force’s new Miniature Air-Launched Decoy-Jammer (MALD-J), which is slated for fielding in late 2012. – G. Goodman a 22 | April 2009 The Journal of Electronic Defense

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - April 2009

JED - April 2009
The View From Here
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Lethal SEAD
Airborne SIGINT Forecast
RF Power Sources for IED Jammers
Roost Profile
EW 101
AOC News
JED Sales Offices
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - April 2009