The UK’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) has awarded a £100m contract to a Babcock-led partnership to deliver advanced electronic warfare (EW) systems to the British Royal Navy.

The partnership includes Elbit Systems UK (ESUK) and QinetiQ and will operate as a single team, known as BEQ collaboration. Babcock will serve as the prime contractor.

According to the companies, the 13-year contract also includes in-service support and will see the team deliver new EW capabilities under Increment 1 of the Maritime Electronic Warfare System Integrated Capability (MEWSIC) programme.

MEWSIC Increment 1 is the first phase of a £500m maritime electronic warfare programme (MEWP).

It will see the upgrade of radar electronic support measures (RESM) and EW command and control (EWC2) capabilities for Royal Navy’s maritime platforms.

Babcock CEO David Lockwood said: “As technology advances, operational advantage through electronic warfare capabilities is more important than ever to our armed forces, and this programme will play a key part in its delivery at sea.

“We will work closely with our collaboration partners and DE&S customer to enhance information dominance for the Royal Navy and its wider allies.”

MEWP is a UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) procurement programme primarily focused on providing the navy with advanced and modernised EW capabilities.

It seeks to deliver operational advantage on Type 45, 26 and 31 frigates, and on Royal Navy’s Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers.

According to the UK Government, the 13-year contract is expected to create nearly 170 jobs, primarily in the South West of England.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “In a world of rapidly evolving threats, these enhancements will upgrade the Royal Navy with pioneering radar detection capabilities maintaining the UK’s operational advantage at sea.

“The £100m investment with key industry partners will underpin vital defence outputs whilst supporting jobs and investment in the South West of England.”