From Scramble - The Aviation Magazine
The AN/ALQ-119 is a noise and deception jamming pod with a single driver and dual outputs to provide dual-mode noise and repeater jamming outputs. It was designed to be a "full-capability" self-protection system operating against Vietnam-era Soviet-designed threats. The pod features dual-mode TWT emitters and analog technology which uses more than 200 factory-set potentiometers to establish operational characteristics. It has gone through several upgrades to improve and update performance. It replaced the AN/ALQ-87 in the late 1970s. During the Vietnam War the AN/ALQ-119 was carried on the F-4, typically frequently mounted on the inboard station, though subsequently it was frequently mounted on the Left Forward AIM-7 missile station. This noise/deception jammer covered three frequency bands. Through the early 1980s, over 1,600 pods had been produced. Nearly 950 pods have been converted to the AN/ALQ-184.
The AN/ALQ-119 ECM pod evolved from the Vietnam-era QRC-522 program and eventually replaced the AN/ALQ-101(V)10 used in South East Asia. In 1970, the pod’s frequency range was extended to cover three frequency bands and its modulation capabilities were enhanced. The Air Force designated the system AN/ALQ-119. It became the primary tactical jammer carried by the F-4 Phantom II and was first used in combat in 1972. The AN/ALQ-119 introduced a new generation of ECM system and was the first large-scale use of a dual mode, noise or deception jammer. An AN/ALQ-119 / AN/ALR-46 combination was called Compass Tie.
There were 17 variants of the basic AN/ALQ-119 system. Most of the changes were in the packaging and mounting of equipment to improve reliability, maintainability, and operational capability.
A physically smaller version of the standard pod.
In 1982, a new pod was designated the AN/ALQ-184. The pod has the same physical dimensions, volume and weight characteristics as the original AN/ALQ-119(V) pod. The AN/ALQ-184(V) is an AN/ALQ-119(V) modified with a Raytheon-supplied kit that installs new plug-in circuit boards (digital technology) to replace much of the analog hardware for the upper two frequency bands, and substituting Rotman electrically scannable antennas for the AN/ALQ-119(V)’s fixed antennas. The modification replaced 80 of the original 93 circuit boards. Raytheon was awarded the initial contract for five pre-production AN/ALQ-184s (to carry out reliability and flight tests) and modification kits for 70 more pods. Rework of the AN/ALQ-119 into AN/ALQ-184 pods has continued since. An estimated 27 AN/ALQ-184(V) jamming pods were deployed to the Persian Gulf War with F-4G Wild Weasel aircraft. They were carried by the Wild Weasels on defence suppression missions into the heart of the threat environment. The ability to rapidly reprogram them for non-standard threats was an important part of the successful application of electronic warfare during the conflict. These pods were returned to the US after the Ground War. AN/ALQ-131(V) pods remained in-theater to support air Operation Deny Flight.
This version incorporates various engineering change proposals. The most recent upgrade involved a contract to install reprogrammable low-band kits to provide flight line re programmability, improve life-cycle costs, and add modulation jamming techniques.
Missile Warning/Chaff Dispenser enhancement. Engineers added an AN/ALQ-156(V) missile warning system to a test pod, with antennas added both front and rear to detect missile threats. Two AN/ALE-40/47(V) dispensers can also be installed to provide a chaff-dispensing capability. Addition of an AN/AAR-44(V) system or AN/AAR-47A/B is also possible.
This version has an AN/ALE-50(V) Towed RF Decoy mounted under the rear of a standard AN/ALQ-184(V) pod. A 1 x 4 Launcher carries four decoys. The design includes upgrades to an IO decoy when that development is complete, enhancing both the RF and IR threat protection available with this pod. To make room for the AN/ALE-50(V) Launch Controller, the low-band controller was modernized and made field programmable by converting twelve ‘70s vintage circuit cards into two ‘90’s technology cards. This change also increased MTBF of the pod. Pod communication with the aircraft is enhanced with the installation of dual-redundant 1553B interfaces. The processor, considered third-generation technology, decides on whether the ALQ-184(V) internal jammer or towed decoy is used to counter a particular threat.
The AN/ALQ-187 is an internally mounted version of the AN/ALQ-184(V). Offered by Raytheon as the Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suite (ASPIS) as an alternative to the AN/ALQ-165 ASPJ and ordered by Hellenic Air Force for the F-16C/D Block 52+. Fully integrated with the AN/ALR-93(V) Threat Warning System and AN/ALE-47 Countermeasures Dispenser System. Latest development is the ASPIS II, using DRFM (Digital Radio Frequency Memory). DRFM is designed to digitize an incoming RF input signal at a frequency and bandwidth necessary to adequately represent the signal, then reconstruct that RF signal when required. The most significant aspect of DRFM is that as a digital "duplicate" of the received signal, it is coherent with the source of the received signal. As opposed to analog 'memory loops', there is no signal degradation caused by continuously cycling the energy through a front-end amplifier which allows for greater range errors for reactive jamming and allows for predictive jamming.
- LTV (Vought) A-7 Corsair II
- Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F-15 Eagle
- Fairchild-Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II
- Lockheed Martin (General Dynamics) F-16 Fighting Falcon
- McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
- Taiwan (AN/ALQ-184(V))
- United States
AN/ALQ-184 mounted on starboard wing of a F-4G