Battlespace Tech

Navy orders more radar jammers to protect Hornet fighters

The Navy is doubling down on electronic jammers used to protect its carrier-based F/A-18C/D/EF Hornet and Super Hornet fighters from radar-guided surface-to-air and air-to-air missiles.

The Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Exelis an $88.3 million contract modification for 48 full-rate production AN/ALQ-214(V)4/5 onboard jammer systems, as part of its Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures program. The award follows a $93.7 million contract awarded in July 2015 for 46 of the systems.

The jammers protect the aircraft by interfering with the guidance systems of enemy missiles. Exelis has been making versions of the jammer systems for the Navy since 1997, and has delivered other versions of the system under previous contracts. In June 2013, for example, the Navy gave Exelis a $125 million contract for the then-new AN/ALQ-214 (V)4/5 systems, which are  smaller a lighter than pervious versions and built with an open architecture that allows for integration on other aircraft.

Work under the new contract modification is expected to be completed in December 2017.

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