BAE Systems is protesting the US Navy's decision to award rival Raytheon a $270 million technology development contract for the service's Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) programme. Raytheon was awarded a 22-month contract to develop technologies for the new system on 8 July.
"The solution we put forward would provide the US Navy with an affordable and effective way to significantly enhance current capabilities and protect our aircraft, ships, and armed forces," BAE Systems says.
BAE cites concern about how their bid was graded as its reason for protesting the award. "We protested the award based on concerns with the Navy's evaluation of our offering," the company says.
The USN hopes to replace the increasingly obsolescent ALQ-99 mid-band jammer pods found on the Boeing EA-18G Growler with the new NGJ jammer pods starting in 2020. The new pods are expected to use cutting-edge active electronically scanned array antennas based on gallium nitride-based transmit/receive modules that are many times more powerful than their gallium arsenide-based equivalents.
However, the USN does not intend to replace the relatively new ALQ-99 low-band jammer pod, nor does it have any immediate plans to develop a new high-band jammer pod.
Raytheon officials could not comment by press time, while Naval Air System Command officials have temporarily been furloughed due to Congressionally mandated sequestration cuts.