Officials of the U.S. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support branch in Philadelphia announced a $7.5 million contract Wednesday to Teledyne Microwave Solutions in Rancho Cordova, Calif., for repair of the Prowler's AN/ALQ-99 airborne EW system.
The EA-6B Prowler -- a dedicated EW version of the Navy's now-retired Northrop Grumman A-6 Intruder medium-attack jet bomber -- is a twin-engine, four-seat, EW jet that the Navy and Marine Corps first started flying since 1971. It has one pilot and three electronic countermeasures crew members.
Its AN/ALQ-99 EW has been aboard the EA-6B, as well as the now-retired U.S. Air Force EF-111A Raven EW aircraft, and the Navy's EA-18G Growler carrier-based EW aircraft. The electronic warfare (EW) system originally was manufactured by EDO Corp. in New York, which has been absorbed into Harris Corp.
The ALQ-99's receiver and antennas are mounted in a fin-tip pod, and its jamming transmitters and exciter equipment are in under-wing pods. The system is designed to intercept, process, and jam enemy radio signals, as well as detect, identify, and locate enemy RF systems like radar and communications.
The AN/ALQ-99 aboard the EA-6B, EF-111, and EA-18G, has flown during the Vietnam War, the American raid in Libya in 1986, the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the 1999 Balkans War, the Second Gulf War, and Operation Odyssey Dawn in 2011.
From the 1998 retirement of the EF-111 to the 2009 introduction of the EA-18G, the Prowler was the only U.S. military aircraft dedicated to electronic warfare. The Navy retired the aircraft in 2015, and the Marines will wind up Prowler operations in 2019.
Only one squadron, Marine Corps Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron-2 (VMAQ-2) Death Jesters at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station, N.C., still flies the EA-6B Prowler. The second-to-last U.S. Prowler Squadron, the VMAQ-3 Moon Dogs, was deactivated last spring.
On this contract Teledyne Microwave Solutions will do the work in Rancho Cordova, Calif., and should be finished by November 2021. For more information contact Teledyne Microwave Solutions online at www.teledynemicrowave.com, or the Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support branch at www.navsup.navy.mil/public/navsup/wss.
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