Northrop Grumman to build electronic warfare (EW) shipboard electronics for (GaN) based SEWIP Block 3

June 17, 2024
The SEWIP program is upgrading the AN/SLQ-32(V) EW system for surface warships for improved anti-ship missile defense and situational awareness.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Navy surface warfare experts are ordering advanced electronic warfare (EW) systems equipment for guided missile destroyers, aircraft carriers, and amphibious assault ships under terms of a $244.7 million order announced Thursday.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking engineers at the Northrop Grumman Corp. Mission Systems segment in Linthicum Heights, Md., to build Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 electronic attack hemisphere systems and ancillary hardware equipment for destroyers, aircraft carriers, and amphibious assault ships.

The SEWIP shipboard electronics system is an evolutionary acquisition program to upgrade the existing AN/SLQ-32(V) EW system for surface warships and provide improved anti-ship missile defense and situational awareness.

Northrop Grumman won $267 million Navy contract in 2015 to develop and build SEWIP Block 3 to make further upgrades to the AN/SLQ-32 with new technologies for early detection, signal analysis, threat warning, and protection from anti-ship missiles. There are three established SEWIP block upgrades and a fourth is planned.

Related: Raytheon to provide hardware for AN/SPY-6(V) radar aboard late-model Burke-class destroyer surface warships

The SEWIP Block 3 uses active electronically scanned array (AESA) antennas based on gallium nitride (GaN) transmit and receive modules. The system not only jams enemy targeting radars and missile guidance systems, but also has a Soft Kill Coordinator (SKC) to manage electronic-attack engagements.

Soft kill refers to altering the electromagnetic signature of friendly ships and other targets to confuse or interfere with enemy radar targeting systems.

The Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Liverpool, N.Y., is building the SEWIP Block 2 surface warfare EW system, which provides improved electronic support receivers and combat system interface and expands the receiver and antenna group to help surface electronic warfare capabilities keep pace with growing threats.

Since the SEWIP program started in 2002, General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (AIS) in Fairfax, Va., acted as prime contractor for SEWIP blocks 1A, 1B1, 1B2, and 1B3.

Related: Navy surveys industry for companies to upgrade and consolidate EA-18G electronic warfare (EW) transmitters

Developed by Raytheon 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.

On this contract Northrop Grumman will do the work in Baltimore and White Marsh, Md.; Tampa, Fla.; Andover, Chelmsford, and Woburn, Mass.; Rochester, N.Y.; San Diego, El Cajon, Los Angeles, Littleton, and Glendale, Calif.; Minneapolis; Tucson, Ariz.; Elk Grove Village, Rolling Meadows, and Woodridge, Ill.; Tucson, Ariz.; Saginaw, Mich.; Stafford Springs, Conn.; Passaic, N.J.; Washington, N.C.; Richardson, Texas; Hiawatha, Iowa; and other U.S. locations, and should be finished by December 2027.

For more information contact Northrop Grumman Mission Systems online at, or Naval Sea Systems Command at

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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