Cheap, Fast And The Marine Way

The U.S. Marine Corps needed a new electronic warfare pod, one they could use on their Harrier vertical-takeoff jets, helicopters and Shadow UAVs for operations in Afghanistan, and similar operations. There was nothing available, and developing a new one, they were told, would cost billions and take years. So the marines designed and developed their own. That cost $20 million and four years. Purchase price for each pod is $600,000. The Intrepid Tiger II communications intelligence and jamming pod weighs 137 kg (300 pounds) and is about the same size as an anti-radiation missile. For the Shadow UAV, the pod components will be reconfigured to fit inside the UAV.

The pod can monitor low power communications (cell phones and walkie talkies) and jam devices used for roadside bombs. By cutting out all the “might happen” stuff and concentrating on what the marines needed right now, the developers were able to get the pod into action this year.


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