Electronic Warfare

Raytheon back to work on Next Generation Jammer

Raytheon has announced that it is ready to resume work on the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) following the Navy’s reconfirmation of the contract. A stop-work order was issued to Raytheon following a Government Accountability Office ruling that upheld a BAE Systems’ official protest against the award.

Raytheon won the initial $279 million contract for the NGJ by the Navy in July 2013, beating competitors BAE Systems and a team from Northrop Grumman and Excelis. However, BAE filed an official protest with GAO raising concerns with the Navy’s evaluation process. GAO upheld parts of the challenge and concluded that the Navy “failed to reasonably evaluate technical risk in accordance with the terms of the solicitation” and that Raytheon was “improperly credited” with outdated past experience.

Having followed GAO’s recommendation that the Navy re-evaluate the proposals, the Navy has decided to keep the existing NGJ contract with Raytheon.

"The Navy has completed corrective action as recommended by the GAO in the sustained protest filed by BAE Systems on the Next Generation Jammer Technology Development contract," said Navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Thurraya Kent, reported Reuters.

The Next Generation Jammer is expected to replace the legacy AN/ALQ-99 Tactical Jamming System carried by EA-18G aircraft that has been in use since the late 1960s, according to the Navy. The program seeks to upgrade Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA) capability in denying, degrading or deceiving enemy use of the electromagnetic spectrum through the use of reactive and pre-emptive jamming techniques. The primary role of these aircraft and the jamming system is to suppress air defenses.

Many observers were surprised when Raytheon initially won the contract, Loren Thompson, the chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, wrote in Forbes. BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman have been widely seen as having extensive backgrounds in jamming technology.

If Raytheon performs well on the initial development phase, the company could be awarded a $3.1 billion advanced development contract and a $4.3 billion production contract, according to Nick Wakeman of Washington Technology.

“We commend the GAO’s thorough assessment of this contract award and the U.S. Navy’s re-evaluation that has solidified us as the provider of the world’s Next Generation Jammer program,” said Rick Yuse, president of Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business in an announcement on Jan. 27. “We look forward to partnering with the Navy to deliver this critical national security capability for the warfighter."

About the Author

Joey Cheng is an editorial fellow with Defense Systems.

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