JED - August 2012 - (Page 15)

t he US NAVY RELEASES NEXT GEN JAMMER RFP Last month, Naval Air Systems Command (Patuxent River, MD) issued the final request for proposals (RFP) for the Technology Development (TD) phase of its Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) program. Four teams, led by BAE Systems, ITT Exelis, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon, are expected to submit bids for the $288 billion program, which will develop the initial portion (a pair of mid-band jamming pods) of an Active Electronically Scanned Array (ASEA)based high-power electronic attack system for the Navy’s EA-18G Growler. Given today’s advanced ground-based radars and threat systems, such as SA10s and SA-20s, with much longer ranges and better target engagement than their single-digit predecessors of the 1960s and 1970s, the DOD needs to keep pace by fielding jammers that are more powerful and agile and can jam multiple radars simultaneously. The Navy has identified several key performance criteria it wants in the NGJ mid-band pods. The most important capability is Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (EIRP). Because of the high jamming power needed to defeat double-digit threats outside of their engagement envelopes (up to 100 nmi) , the program will focus in part on prime power generation and microwave components that can convert that power into effective jamming energy. Other key performance goals include beam steering and frequency coverage, advanced coherent jamming techniques, jamming assignment management, thermal management, and minimal size and weight. In terms of the evaluation factors, the Navy has ranked technical performance as the most important, followed by past performance, corporate experience and finally cost. monitor news The Journal of Electronic Defense | August 2012 g Following the TD phase of the program, the Navy plans to buy nine Engineering Development Model (EDM) NGJ shipsets in the 2015-2019 timeframe (during Engineering and Manufacturing Development) and another nine NGJ shipsets under the first low-rate initial production contract beginning in 2018. Each NGJ shipset comprises two midband pods. The Navy’s “target average unit cost” is $23.6-$24 million (in purchase year’s dollars) per NGJ shipset. The goal is to achieve initial operational capability for Increment I Mid-Band capability by late 2020. Two incentive fees will be included in the TD contract. One incentive fee will be paid for controlling costs. A second incentive fee will be paid for demonstrating the required EIRP for both Mid Band 1 and Mid Band 2 using a single Continuous Wave frequency across 20 measurement points. This incentive fee can only be earned if the contractor meets the EIRP performance threshold at all 20 points. EW companies have been refining their NGJ concepts for several years. The four bidders are currently completing two-year technology maturation contracts, which have focused on reducing the technical risk in several component and subsystem areas. Northrop Grumman last month announced that in March it had conducted several successful flight tests of its prototype NGJ solution, including a ram-air turbine power generation subsystem. The flight tests, conducted near Buffalo, NY, with teammate Calspan Corp aboard a Gulfstream GIII airborne testbed, evaluated aerodynamic performance, as well as some aspects of system performance. Other bidders contacted by JED have remained quiet about their programs while the RFP is still open. In terms of schedule, proposals are due on September 12. The Navy will take several months to evaluate these proposals before awarding a single NGJ TD contract in June 2013. The TD phase will run for approximately 22 months and will be followed by a single contract for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) in 2015. Between TD and EMD, the total development program is estimated at $2 billion. NGJ production for the EA-18G and possibly the F-35 and UAVs is valued at $5-$8 billion, making it one of the most important EW programs to win in the coming years. – J. Knowles 15

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - August 2012

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
EW and SIGINT Payloads for UAVs
EW Careers: The Changing Market
Technology Survey: FPGA Boards
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers

JED - August 2012