The Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Programme (SEWIP) is the US Navy’s fleetwide replacement for the AN/SLQ-32(V) EW system. Mike Meaney, Northrop Grumman’s Vice President, Land and Maritime Sensors, told MON that SEWIP Block 3 adds electronic attack (EA) to the system and protects surface ships from anti-ship missiles, providing early detection, signal analysis and threat warning. “The US Navy has procured the system in blocks, with Northrop Grumman being the supplier for the Block 3 capability,” he added.
As part of the engineering, manufacturing and development contract, Northrop Grumman is scheduled to deliver its first system to Surface Combat Systems Center Wallops Island, VA for land-based testing by the end of 2020. As part of the low-rate initial production contract, the company continues to work towards deliveries in 2021.
The advantage of the new EA system, when compared with currently fielded SLQ-32 systems include an unlimited, non-kinetic, soft-kill magazine to defeat threats from any angle, Meaney explained. “Northrop Grumman’s software-defined, hardware-enabled solution supports future upgrades via software-only updates, providing enhanced mission capability to the user for the current and future fight […] “Having a systems-of-systems approach on ships allows for more integration and the ability to work in concert seamlessly to defeat threats.”
He also remarked that Northrop Grumman has built a network of trusted/proven partners for SEWIP Block 3, who can provide the expertise and performance needed to deliver mission-critical systems. “Northrop Grumman’s systems are a product of collaboration on a national scale. We have over 200 suppliers spanning across more than 30 states as part of the SEWIP production.”
Presenting other highlights of the SEWIP Block 3 roadmap, he stressed Northrop Grumman continues to invest in the high-demand technologies needed for tomorrow’s fight. “Our systems are inherently multifunctional, creating an expanded mission set to defeat emergent threats and support the US Navy’s Distributed Maritime Operations concept of operations. As we keep pace with the rapid advances in technology, it is important to have more integration with other combat systems while adopting the latest electronic attack capabilities to ensure our system remains ahead of the threat […] Northrop Grumman is working with the Navy Program Office to explore opportunities for international sales. We are confident that we will be able to provide this cornerstone capability to our allies in the future,” he concluded.
Marty Kauchak in New Orleans for MON