An EA-18G Growler from Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23, located at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, conducts a Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) flight test over Southern Maryland recently. VX-23 supports the overall NGJ-MB Test and Evaluation program that has seen more than 145 hours of flight test. NGJ-MB received Milestone C approval June 28 and support to award Low Rate Initial Production contract. (U.S. Navy photo by Steve Wolff)

Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band receives Milestone C approval

The Navy’s Next Generation Jammer Mid-Band (NGJ-MB) program received Milestone C approval from Frederick J. Stefany, acting Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition on June 28.  This decision gives NGJ-MB the green light to enter the Production and Deployment phase and proceed with Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP).

“This capability is a game changer for our warfighters and the Airborne Electronic Attack community,” said Rear Adm. Shane Gahagan, Program Executive Officer, Tactical Aircraft Programs. “Milestone C is the critical next step in ensuring that our team will be able to deliver a high-performing, state-of-the-art capability to the fleet.”

The NGJ-MB system is an external jamming pod that will address advanced and emerging threats using the latest digital, software-based and Active Electronically Scanned Array technologies. It will also provide enhanced AEA capabilities to disrupt, deny and degrade enemy air defense and ground communication systems.

“Reaching Milestone C and entering the production phase validates the thousands of test hours and planning that our combined U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force team has contributed to this evolutionary capability, and I couldn’t be prouder,” said Capt. Michael Orr, AEA Systems (PMA-234) program manager, who manages the NGJ-MB program.

Part of a larger NGJ system that will augment and ultimately replace the legacy ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System currently used on the EA-18G Growler, NGJ-MB has successfully completed more than 145 hours of developmental flight testing on the Growler and has more than 3,100 hours of chamber and lab testing.

The U.S. and Australia share a cooperative relationship for the development, production, and sustainment of NGJ-MB. The program office is responsible for acquiring, delivering and sustaining AEA systems, providing combatant commanders with capabilities that enable mission success.

Story by Kristine Wilcox, PMA-234 Communications

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