The US navy is all set to recieve next generation jammers by 2022.The U.S. Navy hopes to start flying its Next Generation Jammers some time next year. US now relies on it’s dedicated F 18 G for escort jamming and traditional standoff jamming mission.The lesson learnt from Syria has made the world realize the critical role electronic warfare system will play in modern battelfield.
F 18G is an dedicated electronic warfare aircraft designed for conducting offensive EW operations in highly restrictive air space. It is equipped with advanced wide-band RWRs (ALQ-218), hostile communication/data-link jammer, mission-specific computers, fast data links and ALQ-99 tactical jamming pods.The F 18 G uses Raytheon AN/APG-79 AESA radar along with internal 20 mm cannon.
The EA-18G can be fitted with up to five ALQ-99 jamming pods along with two AIM-120 AMRAAM and AGM-88 HARM.The ALQ-99 is an airborne integrated jamming system in which the receiver equipment and antennas are mounted in a fin-tip pod while jamming transmitters and exciter equipment are located in under-wing pods.The system is capable of intercepting, automatically processing and jamming received radio frequency signals.The system receivers can also be used to detect, identify and direction finding those signals, providing signal intelligence (SIGINT) either automatically or manually.The other main component of F 18 G is it’s AN/ALQ-218 Radar Warning Receiver
AN/ALQ-218 Radar Warning Receiver is a passive, high performance SIGINT sensor system, the AN/ALQ-218 protects the fighter aircraft by detecting, identifying, locating and analyzing sources of radio frequency (RF) emission.
The AN/ALQ-218 is the world’s only receiver system proven to provide high Probability of Intercept (POI) under “Look-Through” operations, enabling DF & Geo location, parameter measurement and Intentional Modulation on Pulse (IMOP) detection while simultaneously supporting enemy radar threat jamming. The AN/ALQ-218 also supports Specific Emitter Identification (SEI) characterization.
The AN/ALQ-218 utilizes a unique combination of short and long baseline interferometer techniques along with a patented passive ranging algorithm to provide precision Geo location of all ground-based emitters.
The poor reliability of the ALQ-99 jammer pod and frequent failures of the Built-In Test (BIT) have caused the crew to fly missions with undetected faults. The ALQ-99 has also interfered with the aircraft’s AESA radar and has imposed a high workload on the two-man crew, along with reducing the Growler’s top speed.
With China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) developing both new electronic warfare aircraft and new carrier based support aircraft and upgradation of J-15D, JH-7 and J-16 strike fighters and H-6 strategic bombers to perform electronic warfare role has forced the US to equip it’s aircraft with next generation electronic warfare system
Harris Corporation has been awarded a $161 million contract modification to supply the next production lot of electronic jammers to protect U.S. Navy and Australian F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet aircraft against electronic threats.
To counter the growing threat from Russia and China ,various steps has been taken.In 2016 Raytheon won a $1 billion award to build the Next Generation Jammer. The Navy plans to spend $1.5 billion on NGJ development between 2019 and 2022.In addition to that Harris Corp. has received a $133 million contract to support U.S. Navy and Australian Boeing F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets.As per the contract Harris will manufacture and deliver ALQ-214(V)4/5 integrated defensive electronic countermeasures (IDECM) jammers for the F/A-18C/D/E/F variants.
The NGJ will enhance what is arguably the most advanced airborne electronic attack aircraft in the world: the EA-18G Growler. NGJ will involve a combination of agile, high-powered beam-jamming techniques together with truly next gen solid-state electronics. Using the next generation electronic attack tech, the aircraft can suppress enemy air and ground defenses.The NGJ will allow US forces to sense incoming missile radar, listen to adversaries’ radio signals, and more.
F 18 G will also use it’s APG 79 AESA radar for electronic warfare.The ALQ-214 electronic countermeasures suite will be integrated through AESA T/R modules to put power on to the emitter.The NGJ will play an important role to dominate the enemy airspace.There is a possiblity that NGJ may be used to equip other US origin aircraft.