Under the massive Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP), the U.S. Navy is enhancing the capability of its SLQ-32 electronic warfare system to provide early detection, analysis, and warning of – and protection from – anti-ship missiles. The multi-stage SEWIP provides a family of modular shipborne electronic warfare equipment for installation on all surface combatants, aircraft carriers, amphibious ships, and auxiliaries in the surface Navy.
To address the requirements of its SEWIP, the Navy is requesting high and steady levels of cash. In the FY19 defense budget, the Navy requests over $3.8 billion in procurement and RDT&E funding through 2023.
Support and production contracts are regularly being awarded to multiple companies for SEWIP work. In October 2018, Lockheed Martin Corp, Rotary and Mission Systems, was awarded a $14.7 million contract for SLQ-32(V)6 design and engineering services.
Earlier, in September 2018, Northrup Grumman was awarded a $9 million contract to provide long lead material for SEWIP Block 3 low-rate initial production. Contract work is expected to be completed by November 2020.
The Navy has also been advancing a scaled-down EW system under the SEWIP for potential incorporation on Littoral Combat Ships. Designated SLQ-32C(V)6, the new system provides LCSs with an improved electronic warfare suite to enhance their defense capabilities. Upgrades to the antenna, receiver, and combat system interface allow the SEWIP system to pace new threats; improve signal detection, measurement accuracies, and classification; and mitigate electromagnetic interference.
The LCS is particularly important to the SEWIP effort. The modular, reconfigurable ship is designed to meet validated fleet requirements for EW-heavy capabilities such as surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and mine countermeasures missions in the littoral region.