Australian troops are one step closer to the latest technology to combat the threat of Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), after the United States Congress was notified of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) request to acquire JCREW next-generation electronic countermeasure systems.
Subject to Congressional approval, the Australian Government will begin the procurement of the jamming devices as part of Stage One of the Joint Counter Improvised Explosive Device Capability Project (LAND 154 Phase 4).
The Minister for Defence, Linda Reynolds said this proposed acquisition is part of the Federal Government’s $1 billion investment in counter IED capability over the next 10 years.
“Australian forces have used countermeasure systems against the persistent threat of IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, and this new technology will only improve their ability to save and protect lives on operations around the world,” Minister Reynolds said.
In 2020 the Government will consider the purchase of the full complement of systems. However, an upfront investment of $88 million will deliver 80 mounted and 115 dismounted systems, which will progressively be brought into service from 2022/23.
The investment is part of the Government’s broader plan to modernize the Australian Army, which includes new Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicles (CRVs), infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs), and self-propelled howitzers (SPHs).
Northrop Grumman’s Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare, or JCREW, system is a software-programmable jammer that provides protection from device-triggered IEDs. The units are available in both a wearable, backpack design and a mounted/fixed-site version to protect warfighters on foot, in vehicles, and in permanent structures.