The Navy is continuing to move toward replacing its primary aerial jamming pod, the ALQ-99, with the Next Generation Jammer, which will provide significantly greater capabilities in the electromagnetic spectrum against growing threats.“Threats have grown both in number and capability, to put it simply,” Capt. John Bailey, program manager of Airborne Electronic Attack Systems, said at the 2016 Sea Air Space seminar May 16. In terms of isotropic radiated power, the Next Gen Jammer is “about 10 times the power of what we typically put out in the ALQ-99,” he said. As for capacity, “ballpark, quadruple the number of assignments it can handle” as well as the ability to rapidly beam-switch from “target to target to target” nearly instantaneously.The ALQ-99, which dates back nearly 50 years, has reached its limit of what it can do, especially against a modern threat, in terms of effective isotropic radiated power, advanced modulation and capacity. “The reason we are purchasing the next-generation jammer, [whose] first increment will reach initial operational capability around 2021, is that the threat is getting more and more advanced. And that threat is in the electromagnetic spectrum. The next war is going to be fought in the electromagnetic spectrum,” Rear Adm. Michael Manazir, the Navy’s director of Air Warfare, told members of Congress in April, while providing an update on the status of the Next Gen Jammer.
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