WASHINGTON, April 14 (UPI) -- Raytheon has been awarded $1 billion to continue development of a next-generation electronic jamming pod for the U.S. Navy, the Defense Department announced this week.
The contract will finance the "design, manufacture, integration, demonstration and test" of 15 prototype versions of the Next Generation Jammer, according to the contract announcement.
The Next Generation Jammer, or NGJ, program will replace the current ALQ-99 jammer system aboard the Navy's EA-18G Growler electronic warfare jet. Raytheon will also build 14 "aero-mechanical test pods" to test the weapon's airborne capabilities aboard the Growler.
The contract comes days after the Pentagon approved the NGJ program to enter into the engineering and manufacturing phase of the weapon's development.
The NGJ program gained Milestone Decision Authority approval after Raytheon's development plans were judged as meeting the system's proposed cost, schedule and performance objectives and were in line with meeting warfighter requirements.
"I am extremely proud of our team and our product," said Capt. John Bailey, Airborne Electronic Attack Systems and EA-6B Program Office (PMA-234) program manager. "The grassroots dedication, commitment of our personnel and the groundbreaking technology will result in a potent fleet capability."
After the engineering and development phase, the NJG is expected to reach its system-level critical design review next year, finalizing the system design and allowing for the fabrication and assembly of test articles.