Northrop Grumman (Westinghouse) AN/ALQ-131

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AN/ALQ-131 mounted on F-16 centreline pylon



The AN/ALQ-131, originally developed by Westinghouse, is an external electronic countermeasures pod designed to provide full dimensional protection against radar directed weapons. The pod provides self protection jamming against pulse doppler or CW jamming threats. The ALQ-131 accomplishes this by responding with a combination of noise, repeater or transponder electronic jamming techniques. The pod weighs 600 pounds, with modular design for multiple frequency band capability. It has an ability to be quickly re-programmed against changing threats.

Although no longer in production, the AN/ALQ-131 is still operational on A-10, F-16 and C-130 aircraft in the US Air Force and 11 other countries. With More than 1,600 units produced, it is one of the most successful ECM systems ever built. Operational Flight Program (OFP) Block software up-dates are expected about every two years, or as tactically required based on the continuum of threat evaluation to support theater tailored User Data Files (UDF), and jammer technique optimization. The AN/ALQ-131 is gradually being replaced by the more modern ITT AN/ALQ-211 jammer.

System described

  • Full three-band, overlapping frequency coverage provides protection against lethal radar threats with the ability to stack transmitters for increased power in densest signal environments.
  • High-power vacuum tube transmitters with controllable apertures produce high effective radiated power to successfully counter even the closest RF threats.
  • Capable of producing simultaneous jamming techniques to counter multiple, simultaneous threats on a pulse-by-pulse basis.
  • Integrated broadband receiver ensures rapid, tailored technique response to each threat in a dense threat environment with a “run silent” power management mode
  • Cockpit controllable with AN/ALQ-213 or C-9492 control units



Initial model, first fielded in the 1970s.


The ALQ-131(V) handles known, emerging and future terminal threats in a variety of complex, dense threat environments. Designed to easily add new capabilities, the ALQ-131(V) is currently undergoing a Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) to provide the next-generation capabilities and performance. The Seek Ram MLU improvements include a transmitter upgrade, advanced technique upgrade and improved sustainment and availability.

AN/ALQ-131 Block II

The ALQ-131 Block II is modularly constructed conversion kit, providing a high degree of adaptability to various mission requirements. Basic hardware components include an Interface and control module, 2 or 3 Band modules that cover a portion of the pod's total frequency range, and the Receiver/Processor (R/P) module. The R/P module combines an accurate signal identification capability with power management. An important function of the R/P is the management of "look through" which permits periodic surveillance of the threat environment while jamming is in progress.



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  • United States


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