The US Navy has approved Lockheed’s preliminary design for a system to defend surface combatants from anti-ship cruise missile threats.

Under the initial $9.9m design contract, Lockheed will provide a modular solution for block 2, based on its integrated common electronics warfare system that was demonstrated at sea in 2008.

The approach will use commercial-off-the-shelf electronics and provides the navy with the latest surface ship electronic warfare capabilities and enhanced flexibility to upgrade the technology to address emerging threats.

The contract awarded under the surface electronic warfare improvement (SEWIP) block 2 upgrade programme in 2009 has options amounting to $167m, if exercised.

Under the programme, the navy is engaged in acquiring enhancements to its AN/SLQ-32 electronic warfare (EW) system.