General Dynamics (GD) Mission Systems has received a production contract from the US Navy for its Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 1B3.

As part of the deal, GD will supply Block 1B3 system upgrades for five years.

The upgrades, which will be incorporated into new and existing navy ships, will offer improved situational awareness of the tactical environment surrounding the ship.

"This award continues our strong, trusted partnership with the navy to provide mission-critical electronic warfare capabilities."

General Dynamics Mission Systems general manager and vice-president Carlo Zaffanella said: "This award continues our strong, trusted partnership with the navy to provide affordable, mission-critical electronic warfare capabilities for combat ships deployed worldwide."

Work under the contract will be carried out at the firm’s facility in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, US.

The SEWIP, which is made up of four blocks upgrades, is a development upgrade programme for the AN/SLQ-32 electronic warfare system installed on aircraft carrier, surface and amphibious warships.

Since 2003, the company has been involved in the SEWIP Block 1 programme. It secured a low-rate initial production contract for the SEWIP Block 1B3 in 2014.

The contract is part of Block 1, which offers enhanced electronic warfare capabilities to navy ship combat systems to improve anti-ship missile defence, counter targeting and surveillance.

Development of SEWIP Block 1A, 1B1 and 1B2 are complete, and these upgrades are in full rate production, and fleet installations are in-progress.

The Block 1B3 system is the final upgrade for Block 1, which provides high-gain / high-sensitivity electronic capability and improved battlefield situational awareness.

Image: AN/SLQ-32 console aboard USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19). Photo: courtesy of US Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Cynthia Griggs/Released.