The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman a contract worth $100.8 million for electronic warfare systems to be installed on its naval warships. The deal includes production of Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 electronic attack systems and hardware design modifications required for aircraft carrier and amphibious assault ship installation. The SEWIP was established as an ACAT II program in July 2002 after cancellation of advanced integrated electronic warfare system (AIEWS). Through incremental upgrades using an evolutionary acquisition strategy, the AN/SLQ-32(V) is being modernized to mitigate obsolescence and delivery advanced ES and EA capability to the fleet. Work is expected to be completed by May 2023.
In 2016 there were 234 systems in six variants deployed worldwide, 126 systems on U.S. Navy ships (CVN, DDG, CG, LCC, LHA, LHD, LPD and LSD), 17 systems on U.S. Coast Guard cutters and 91 Foreign Military Sales Transfers in 12 countries. The SEWIP is an evolutionary development block upgrade program for the AN/SLQ-32(V) EW system offering incremental enhancements in capability. There are currently three established block upgrades and a fourth is planned. SEWIP Block 1 provides enhanced EW capabilities to existing and new ship combat systems to improve anti-ship missile defense, counter targeting and counter surveillance capabilities. SEWIP Block 2 provides enhanced Electronic Support (ES) capability by means of an upgraded ES antenna, ES receiver and an open combat system interface for the AN/SLQ-32.
SEWIP Block 3 will provide electronic attack (EA) capability improvements required for the AN/SLQ-32(V) system to keep pace with the threat. This block upgrade will provide a common EA capability to all surface combatants outfitted with the active variant of the AN/SLQ-32. SEWIP Block 3 development leverages technology developed under the Office of Naval Research’s (ONR) Integrated Topside (InTop) Science and Technology (S&T) effort. The SEWIP Block 3 program is designated as an ACAT II program and is currently in the Engineering and Manufacturing Development Phase. SEWIP Block 3, being developed by Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS), adds electronic attack to the SLQ-32(V) EW system, and is a cornerstone capability that will meet the urgent operational needs of the Fleet.
Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing team has successfully built the SEWIP Block 3 engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) hardware and is currently conducting system integration and test. Testing in the high-bay facility’s anechoic chamber has been proceeding well. After successfully completing the manufacturing readiness assessment, demonstrating proven processes and equipment in place, the team launched material procurement and has started manufacturing the first two LRIP systems. An important milestone was recently reached with the production of the 500th RF module, Transmit and Receive components used in the SEWIP Block 3 system. As progress continues, Northrop Grumman is on track for targeted installation of the first SEWIP Block 3 system in 2021 on an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer.