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Raytheon’s NGJ-MB Undergoes First GROWLER Flight Test

Significant Progress Towards Series Production Decision

The US Navy’s Next-Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB), built by Raytheon Intelligence & Space, was successfully flight-tested on 7 August on an EA-18G GROWLER, the company announced on 24 August.

NGJ-MB is an advanced electronic attack system that denies, disrupts and degrades enemy technology, including communication tools and air-defence systems.

After hundreds of hours of successful ground and chamber testing, NGJ-MB’s first GROWLER flight test marked a significant achievement for the program toward Milestone C and IOC,” explained Annabel Flores, VP of Electronic Warfare Systems. “It’s a testament to the technology and the collaborative efforts of the RI&S team with the Navy’s engineering, integration and test teams.”

The first flight met all objectives. Future mission systems flight testing will demonstrate weapons system control, power generation and electromagnetic compatibility between jammer and aircraft, as well as the performance of NGJ-MB’s high-capacity digital waveform generation and active electronically scanned arrays (AESA) in flight against a variety of targets. Data from these flight tests on the GROWLER will inform Milestone C – the Navy’s decision to start NGJ-MB production.

The flight follows more than 600 hours of ground testing of Engineering Development Model (EDM) pods which have undergone anechoic chamber testing – a special facility designed to absorb electromagnetic waves – to measure the jammer’s RF power and beam-steering capabilities.

In addition to mission systems testing, the programme is expected to begin aeromechanical flight testing shortly, to assess aircraft flying qualities and performance, following previously completed ground vibration, static load and wind tunnel testing. These tests will also evaluate the effects of the air flow environment on the pod, as well as noise and vibration behaviour.

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