Advanced Technologies Group Incorporated (ATGI, H2/A24) is showing off its new high-powered ram air turbine (HIRAT) that will power the US Navy's future Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) pod for the first time.
Compared with the turbine on the current ITT-built ALQ-99 pod, which produces 27KW of power, the HIRAT generator produces over 140KW.
The increased power is needed for the USN's power and coverage requirements for the NGJ. Unlike the current jammer, the new pod is required to have 360° coverage. It will also make extensive use of active electronically scanned array (AESA) antennas and gallium nitride semi-conductors. That means the new pod will need to have the turbine in the middle rather than at the front, ATGI says. The HIRAT, which uses a completely new and revolutionary design, has the turbine in the centre, says John Justak, ATGI's president.
The centre-mounted design also allows for the pod to be much more streamlined than traditional jammer-pods. That means the Boeing EA-18G, which currently uses ALQ-99 pod developed for the subsonic Grumman EA-6B Prowler, will be able to take advantage of much more of its flight envelop. That means crew will be able fly faster and keep up with the rest of USN F/A-18 strike packages.
Unlike the current pods, the new pods are capable of supersonic flight. But the actual jamming portion of the mission will still be flown at Mach 0.95 where it is most effective.