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How the U.S. Will Protect Its Fighter Planes From Foreign Interference

Kris Osborn

Key Point: The B-2 and B-21 will be able to fly safe.

The Navy is engineering a new, more powerful, high-tech electronic warfare Next-Generation Jammer technology designed to allow strike aircraft and stealth bombers to destroy enemy targets without being detected by modern surface-to-air missile defenses. 

While radar warning receivers are purely defensive technologies, the NGJ is configured with offensive jamming capabilities in support of stealth bombers and strike aircraft such as an F/A-18 Super Hornet or F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The jammer is intended to preemptively jam enemy radars and protect aircraft by preventing air defenses from engaging.

“With surface-to-air missile systems, we want to deny that track an engagement opportunity. We try to work with the aircraft to jam“The whole idea is to get the enemy air defense systems from seeing the strike package. It does not matter what type of aircraft we are protecting. Our mission is to suppress enemy air defenses and allow the mission to continue. This is not just designed to allow the aircraft to survive but also allow it to continue the mission - deliver ordnance and return home,” Cmdr. Ernest Winston, Electronic Attack Requirements Officer, told Scout Warrior in an interview last year. 

The NGJ could be particularly helpful when it comes to protecting fighter aircraft and stealth platforms like the B-2 bomber, now-in-development B-21 and the F-35 multi-role stealth fighter. The technology is designed to block, jam, thwart or “blind” enemy radar systems such as ground-based integrated air defenses – so as to allow attack aircraft to enter a target area, conduct strikes and then safely exit.

This is useful in today’s modern environment because radar-evading stealth configurations, by themselves, are no longer as dominant or effective against current and emerging air-defense technologies.

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