Lockheed Martin chooses antenna array panels from Cobham for SEWIP shipboard EW systems
LANSDALE, Pa., 16 Sept. 2015. Electronic warfare (EW) designers at Lockheed Martin Corp. needed RF and microwave antennas for the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) shipboard EW system that Lockheed Martin is building for U.S. Navy surface warships. They found their solution from Cobham Integrated Electronic Solutions in Lansdale, Pa.
Officials of the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training segment in Liverpool, N.Y., have awarded Cobham a low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract to provide antenna array panel assemblies (AAPAs) for SEWIP Block 2.
"Cobham’s interferometer-based array technology greatly enhances the SEWIP Block II program’s detection and reporting accuracy against modern threat systems and improves overall shipboard combat effectiveness," says Jim Barber, senior vice president and general manager of Cobham Integrated Electronic Solutions.
LRIP describes initial, small-quantity production of a weapons system for extensive field testing and evaluation previous to contracts for full-rate production. LRIP typically is the first step in moving from custom prototypes to the final mass-produced end product.
The SEWIP program upgrades existing out-of-production AN/SLQ-32(V) shipboard EW systems. Block II is the latest improvement phase the Navy is pursuing for SEWIP, which will incrementally add new defensive technologies and capabilities like improved electronic support receivers and combat system interfaces, Cobham officials say.
SEWIP provides enhanced shipboard electronic warfare for early detection, analysis, threat warning and protection from anti-ship missiles.
The SEWIP program is upgrading the Navy's existing AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system by improving the receiver and antenna group to meet current and anticipated threats, as well as to yield improved system integration, Navy officials say.
Lockheed Martin won a Navy award for SEWIP Block 2 in late 2009, and then won a contract in 2013 to build advanced-development prototypes of the SEWIP Block 2 system.
The Lockheed Martin Block 2 SEWIP design is based on the company's integrated common electronics warfare system (ICEWS), which enables rapid reconfiguring of the system with commercial technology.
Also working with Lockheed Martin on SEWIP Block 2 is Mercury Systems in Chelmsford, Mass., which is providing advanced radio frequency (RF) microwave tuners and intermediate frequency (IF) products. Lockheed Martin chose the Mercury Echotek series microwave tuner and digital receiver, which are optimized for fast tuning and high performance, Mercury officials say.
In early 2012, Raytheon Co. and Lockheed Martin formed a team to capture a Navy award for the system's newest generation, SEWIP Block 3. The different SEWIP variants will improve capability for countering hostile electronic signals actively and passively.
Developed by Raytheon Co. in the 1970s, the original AN/SLQ-32 systems employed passive radar technology for early warning, identification and tracking of enemy threats. Subsequent upgrades provided an additional active capability for simultaneous jamming of several different threats.