Northrop to upgrade RNLAF's F-16 AN/ALQ-131 electronic countermeasure pods


The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) has contracted Northrop Grumman to upgrade the AN/ALQ-131 electronic countermeasure (ECM) pods for its F-16 aircraft fleet.

The contract requires the company to improve threat detection and jamming capabilities of the aircraft, thereby allowing pilots to operate safely in the modern threat environment.

The company said that its digital receiver/exciter adds fifth-generation aircraft electronic warfare technology to the AN/ALQ-131.

Northrop Grumman programmes vice-president Dr. Robert Fleming said: “The digital technology in the AN/ALQ-131 upgrade provides a significant leap in capability for electronic countermeasures, giving RNLAF aviators a superior level of protection wherever their missions take them.”

To date, Northrop has fielded more than 1,600 ALQ-131 pods to protect aircrews and aircraft in every conflict.

Said to be one of the most successful ECM systems ever built, the AN/ALQ-131 pod is currently operational in the US and 11 other countries.

Built by Lockheed Martin, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is capable of carrying air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface missiles.

"Said to be one of the most successful ECM systems ever built, the AN/ALQ-131 pod is currently operational in the US and 11 other countries."

In addition to AN/ALQ-131, the multirole fighter jet is compatible with other jammers and electronic countermeasures equipment, including Raytheon AN/ALQ-184, Elisra SPS 3000 and Elta EL/L-8240, and the Northrop Grumman ALQ-165 self-protection suite.

Northrop provides electronic warfare systems for a variety of aircraft and aircrews, including A-10, B-1, B-52, C-130, F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and F-35.

The company also provides systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, strike, and logistics and modernisation to customers across the world.


Image: The AN/ALQ-131 pod. Photo: courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corporation.