U.S. Navy starts full rate production of SEWIP Block 2

The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin an initial $148.9 million contract for full rate production of the surface electronic warfare improvement program (SEWIP) Block 2 systems to upgrade the fleet’s electronic warfare capabilities.

Under this full-rate production contract, which has four additional option years, Lockheed Martin will provide additional systems to upgrade the AN/SLQ-32 systems on U.S. aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other warships with capabilities that will allow them to determine if the electronic sensors of potential foes are tracking the ship.

“The SEWIP Block 2 System is critically important to the Navy’s operation, and we are proud to continue to provide this capability to the warfighter,” said Joe Ottaviano, electronic warfare program director. “Threats are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Our electronic warfare systems give the warfighter information to enable a response before the adversary even knows we’re there.”

According to Lockheed Martin, the system is the first sensor to be fully compliant with the Navy’s product line architecture strategy, which facilitates the rapid introduction of new technology into the fleet.

Block 2 is the latest deployed improvement in an evolutionary succession of “blocks” the Navy is pursuing for its shipboard electronic warfare system, which will incrementally add new defensive technologies and functional capabilities. Block 2 provides an upgraded antenna, receiver and improved interface with existing ship combat systems.

Lockheed Martin was awarded the design and development contract for this program in September 2009. Since then the company has been awarded a low rate initial Production (LRIP) contract for an additional 38 units and 22 of these units have been delivered to the Navy on schedule so far.