Saab has begun flight testing of a low-band Electronic Attack Jammer Pod (EAJP) developed as part of the company's Arexis family of fast-jet electronic-warfare (EW) equipment.
A Swedish Air Force two-seat Gripen D aircraft made a first test flight with the EAJP pod on 4 November. Saab said the pod's interfaces with the aircraft's hardware and software, as well as cockpit control and monitoring, were tested during the flight "with successful results".
Announced by Saab's EW business unit in 2017, the Arexis line leverages from technology building blocks already in development for the Multi Functional System (MFS)-EW self-protection suite equipping the new Saab JAS 39 Gripen E fighter. These building blocks include ultra-wideband digital receivers and digital radio frequency memory devices, gallium nitride (GaN) solid-state active electronically scanned array (AESA) transmitters, interferometric direction-finding systems, and high-speed digital signal-processing architectures.
The EAJP escort jamming pod is intended to provide strike packages with an airborne electronic attack capability to defeat early warning radars. The baseline design incorporates L-band and S-band GaN-based AESA antennas in the fore and aft sections of the main pod structure, with large very high frequency (VHF) and ultra-high frequency (UHF) fin antennas mounted externally. Weighing less than 350 kg, this version has been specifically designed for integration with single-engine fighters such as the Gripen E.
Saab took the decision in 2017 to self-invest in the build of a prototype system, with the assembly and integration of the demonstrator pod completed at the company's Järfälla site near Stockholm at the start of 2019. "We had the system into [anechoic] chamber testing less than 18 months after starting development," Jonas Grönberg, Saab's head of marketing, sales, and emerging products for Fighter EW, told Jane's earlier this year. "This is a pre-production model, covering the L- and S-bands, designed for a limited number of flight hours and a limited flight envelope.
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