Lockheed Martin to build electronic warfare (EW) for helicopters to defend against anti-ship missiles

Oct. 14, 2021
The AOEW program is intended to devise electronic warfare countermeasures for some of the world's most advanced radar-guided anti-ship missiles.

LIVERPOOL, N.Y. – U.S. Navy surface warfare and missile defense experts are asking Lockheed Martin Corp. to build additional helicopter-based long-range electronic warfare (EW) systems to protect Navy surface ships from existing and future advanced anti-ship missiles.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $17.8 million order to the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Liverpool, N.Y., to build low-rate initial production units of the AN/ALQ-248 Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) Active Mission Payload (AMP) system for the MH-60R and MH-60S ship-based maritime helicopters. Lockheed Martin will deliver two AOEW AN/ALQ-249 pods with spares and support.

AOEW will provide long-endurance, off-board electronic countermeasures against current and future anti-ship missile threats with a long-duration EW active mission payload for the MH-60R and MH-60S ship-based maritime helicopters.

The AOEW AMP AN/ALQ-248 can work independently or together with the ship’s onboard AN/SLQ-32(V)6 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 2 to detect an incoming missile and then evaluate where it is going, Lockheed Martin officials say. AOEW then uses radio frequency countermeasure techniques to deter the missile.

Related: Lockheed Martin to begin installing electronic warfare (EW) avionics aboard Navy helicopters

One of the goals of the AOEW program is to detect and counter threats to provide enterprise electronic warfare to protect for the Navy Fleet. Lockheed Martin won the industry competition to develop and build the AOEW system in early 2016.

Although initial AOEW prototypes are to be installed on MH-60R and MH-60S helicopters, future deployable versions may be intended for long-range, long-endurance fixed-wing or helicopter unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), experts say.

Related: Enabling technologies for airborne electronic warfare

Lockheed Martin will develop a modular open-systems architecture (MOSA) to enable the EW payload to adapt to evolving threats, hasten deployment, reduce development time and costs, and facilitate future system upgrades and technology insertion.

The AOEW program capitalizes on Lockheed Martin expertise across the corporation. The Lockheed Martin facility in Owego, N.Y., will integrate the system onto the MH-60 helicopters, which are built by Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company in Stratford, Conn.

On this order Lockheed Martin will do the work in Syracuse, N.Y.; Lansdale, Pa.; Stratford, Conn.; and Orlando, Fla., and should be finished by May 2024. For more information contact Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems online at www.lockheedmartin.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

About the Author

John Keller | Editor-in-Chief

John Keller is the Editor-in-Chief, Military & Aerospace Electronics Magazine--provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronics and optoelectronic technologies in military, space and commercial aviation applications. John has been a member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since 1989 and chief editor since 1995.

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