The US Navy's surface electronic warfare improvement program (SEWIP) Block 3 programme successfully completed the preliminary design review (PDR) for the next-generation AN/SLQ-32 shipboard electronic warfare system.
The PDR is a major programme milestone, which assesses technology maturity and technical development plans.
Completed in collaboration with Northrop Grumman, the navy reviewed the system architecture and preliminary design.
Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) programme executive officer rear admiral Jon A Hill said: "This ensures that the cutting-edge preliminary design is on track to meet necessary technology improvements to the AN/SLQ-32 family of electronic warfare systems through specific enhancements to threat identification, prioritisation, defensive systems optimal assignment, and active engagement."
The new shipboard electronic warfare system is result of the navy's investment in advanced electronic warfare through the Office of Naval Research Integrated Topside prototype programme.
The upgraded version of current AN/SLQ-32(V)6 systems will offer enhanced, fully integrated, threat detection and active radar-jamming capability, in addition to critical enhancements in coordinated electronic warfare defence.
SEWIP programme manager captain Seiko Okano said: "It is apparent that proliferation of advanced technology will continue to challenge our forces both at home and abroad.
"This upgrade will provide increased protection to both our ships and their crews, and the navy is counting on us to deliver this critical electronic warfare capability improvement on schedule and cost."
Critical design review of the system is expected to take place next year, while the initial fielding is scheduled for 2019.