C4ISR

Navy hires Lockheed for next phase of SEWIP

As a part of its effort to upgrade ship-borne electronic warfare systems, the Navy has awarded a contract worth up to $147 million to Lockheed Martin for the low-rate initial production and fielding of the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 systems.

The firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed fee and cost-type-letter contract includes exercisable options that could raise the total value to $158 million, according to a Defense Department release.

SEWIP is an acquisition and incremental development program that will upgrade AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare systems. First produced in the 1970s, the AN/SLQ-32 conducts early detection, signal analysis, threat warning and anti-ship missile protection. As of 2013, 258 of the systems have been equipped on Navy, Coast Guard and foreign ships.

The evolutionary upgrade program features three established blocks, with a fourth in the planning stage, according to the Navy. SEWIP was established in 2002 after the cancellation of the Advanced Integrated Electronic Warfare System (AIEWS) program.

Block 1 of SEWIP is designed to provide enhanced capabilities to improve anti-ship missile defense, counter targeting and counter surveillance capabilities. The upgrade included the Electronic Surveillance Enhancements (ESE) and the Improved Control and Display (ICAD). Block 1A, Block 1B1, and Block 1B2 are in full production.

Block 1B3, which features a High Gain/High Sensitivity (HGHS) capability, is in low-rate initial production and was awarded to General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in August.

For Block 2, Lockheed will provide improved Electronic Support capability through an upgraded antenna, receiver and open combat system interface. Block 2 is designed to improve the detection and accuracy of the AN/SLQ-32.

Block 3 will upgrade Electronic Attack capabilities of the system and provide a common attack capability to all ships equipped with the AN/SLQ-32. And Block 4 is a planned upgrade that will add advanced electro-optic and infrared capabilities to the system.

Lockheed Martin was originally awarded a contract in 2009 for the development of Block 2 systems, according to a company release in 2013. The Navy has exercised several options for low rate production since then.

 Lockheed has teamed with Raytheon to develop technology for SEWIP Block 3, which is currently in the Technology Development Phase.

About the Author

Joey Cheng is an editorial fellow with Defense Systems.

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