US Navy chooses firms to develop and test electronic warfare jets

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Aery Aviation and Mountain Aviation have won a US$146 million contract by the US Navy to modify several aircraft into electronic warfare jets for the US Navy.

Newport News, Virginia-based Aery and Denver, Colorado, Denver-based Mountain Aviation will buy and upgrade 13 aircraft over the next five years under the US Navy’s High Endurance Electronic Warfare Jet (HEEWJ) program. These will include three models of Learjet and Gulfstream IV aircraft.

The joint venture (JV), which is called Strategic Airborne Operations and is being led by Aery, involves the design, engineering, modification, testing, and certification of the aircraft from the company’s headquarters in Newport News. The HEEWJ aircraft will replace legacy equipment and provide more modern electronic warfare (EW) capabilities such as Stand-Off Jamming, Electronic Attack, and Banner and Target Tow.

Aery will be certifying over a dozen FAA Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) baseline and configuration changes for wing hardpoints, radomes, and a variety of mission-critical systems as part of the program.

Scott Beale, vice president of Aery said, “We are proud to have been awarded this mission-critical Navy contract and follow a great legacy of performance with next-generation modernized equipment to serve our Navy partner.”

The HEEWJ aircraft will fly approximately 4,000 flight hours annually for the US Navy and will simulate a wide variety of airborne threats to train and test / evaluate shipboard and aircraft squadron weapon systems, operators, and aircrew on how to counter potential enemy EW and Electronic Attack (EA) operations.

Aery Aviation was founded in 2016 and supplies aerospace design, engineering, systems integration, modifications, certification, maintenance, and flight operations services to commercial and government customers. Mountain Aviation is a charter operator and aircraft management business.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering almost all aspects of technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before eventually becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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