JED - October 2012 - (Page 15)

t he monitor news NEXT GEN JAMMER UPDATE The US Navy’s Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) Program has passed a small but significant milestone, as written proposals were submitted late last month for the Technology Development (TD) phase. Under the NGJ program, the Navy wants to modernize its Airborne Electronic Attack capabilities by replacing its inventory of aging ALQ-99 electronic attack pods with new high-power solid-state jammers. The NGJ will be flown on the EA-18G Growler initially, with the possibility of later integration on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and possibly the F-35. Like the ALQ-99, the Navy wants to develop the NGJ in low-, mid- and high-band variants, with the initial development effort focusing on the mid-band pod. Four major EW companies – BAE Systems (Nashua, NH), ITT Exelis (Clifton, NJ), Northrop Grumman (Bethpage, NY) and Raytheon (El Segundo, CA) – have been supporting the program for the past two years during the Technology Maturation phase. The Journal of Electronic Defense | October 2012 AFRL TO DEVELOP NEW GENERATION OF EW COMPONENTS The Air Force Research Lab’s Sensors Directorate (Wright-Patterson AFB, OH) is expected to issue a Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) in the coming weeks for a program to develop a new generation of electronic warfare components that will be used in future EW systems. Known as the Advanced Components for EW (ACE) program, AFRL’s aim is to develop the enabling technologies that will make next-generation cognitive and distributed EW systems a reality. (See “Cognition: EW Gets Brainy” on page 32.) Managed by the RF/EO Subsystems Branch of the Sensors Directorate’s Aerospace Components and Subsystems Division (AFRL/RYDR), the ACE program is currently focused on defining the scope of the effort. The program specifically seeks “leap-ahead component technologies” for next generation cognitive and distributed EW systems to stay current with emerging threats. According to a request for information (RFI) from AFRL, program officials are still in the early stages of defining Phase 0 and learning about industry capabilities in four technology areas: 1) integrated photonic circuits (IPCs), 2) millimeter-wave (MMW) source and receiver components for EW (MMW), 3) reconfigurable and adaptive RF electronics (RARE) and 4) heterogeneous integration for photonic sources (HIPS). AFRL plans for a four-phase ACE effort modeled along the lines of DARPA’s successful Microwave and Millimeter Wave Monolithic Integrated Circuit (MIMIC) program of the late 1980s and early 1990s that improved the performance of high-performance microwave components and drove down their cost. AFRL hosted an ACE industry day in late September, and program officials are expected to issue an ACE BAA in October or November. The technical point of contact is Stephen Hary, (937) 528-8727, e-mail: Responses to the ACE RFI are due October 10. – E. Richardson and J. Knowles 15 In 2011 the Navy announced that it would award a single contract 2011, for the TD phase of NGJ development instead of two contracts as it had previously planned. This decision had a ripple effect on the program, according to informed sources. It placed a new level of significance on the role of EA-18G prime contractor Boeing, which obviously possesses unique knowledge about the EA-18G design. Boeing was teamed with Exelis earlier in the program, but the two companies announced this past summer that they would not continue in the competition as a team. This, according to informed sources, enabled the Navy to essentially designate Boeing as the platform integrator that could work with whichever team won the single TD contract without any conflict of interest. To re-affirm Boeing’s new role in the NGJ program, the Navy issued an contracting announcement last month indicating that it intended to award Boeing a “sole-source cost reimbursement order” under an existing contract for support “to assist in the Engineering Change Proposal (ECP) process in order to identify technical, logistics, programmatic and contractual EA-18G aircraft integration requirements for NGJ.” It went on to say, “This

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

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Pacing the Anti-Ship Missile Threat
Cognition: EW Gets Brainy
Inside IEWS
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look

JED - October 2012