Lockheed Martin has teamed up with Raytheon to bid for a US Navy contract intended to modernise the fleet’s electronic attack (EA) capability against anti-ship missiles as part of the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Programme (SEWIP) Block 3 upgrade programme.
Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems Tactical Airborne Systems vice president Mark Kula said: ‘The Lockheed Martin-Raytheon partnership provides the low-cost, high-reliability solution the Navy needs to meet current and future sea-surface threat environments.’
The SEWIP Block 3 upgrade programme involves enhancement of AN/SLQ-32 V(3) and V(4) electronic warfare systems currently installed on all US aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and warships in order to better counter emerging threats.
SEWIP provides a common/open and scalable architecture to support future technologies in anti-ship missile defence and EW situational awareness, while the block upgrade series will add new defensive technologies and functional capabilities to the US naval fleet.
The Raytheon-developed AN/SLQ-32 system provides early warning of enemy threats, electronic support and countermeasure protection for US and international navies, in addition to the active capability for simultaneous jamming of multiple threats.
The AN/SLQ-32(V) features guided weapons that enable decoy engagements to defeat attacks and are equipped with passive radar technology for early warning, identification and tracking of enemy threats.
The US Navy is expected to issue a request for proposal later this year.
In November 2009, US Navy awarded a $167m contract to Lockheed to develop SEWIP Block 2, which includes passive detection capabilities for advanced threats and establishes a framework to easily integrate future upgrades.
Currently, two engineering development models of SEWIP Block 2 are undergoing integration and testing at Lockheed’s facility in Syracuse, New York, US.