UK MOD: £100M for Babcock-led team to upgrade Royal Navy’s EW tech

Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S), part of the UK Ministry of Defence, has awarded a £100 million ($136 million) contract to a Babcock-led partnership with Elbit Systems UK and QinetiQ to deliver electronic warfare (EW) systems to the Royal Navy.

Courtesy of UK MOD

As explained, the EW technology will allow more simultaneous detection and identification of radio signals over a greater frequency range than current capabilities.

This will aid faster operational decision-making, enhanced situational awareness and anti-ship missile defence capability.

Around 170 jobs are expected to be created and sustained across the UK by the 13-year contract, mainly in the South West of England, ranging from manufacturing to software development roles.

“In a world of rapidly evolving threats, these enhancements will upgrade the Royal Navy with … radar detection capabilities maintaining the UK’s operational advantage at sea,” Defence Secretary of State Ben Wallace said.

“The £100-million investment with key industry partners will underpin vital defence outputs whilst supporting jobs and investment in the South-West of England.”

This is the first phase of a £500-million Maritime Electronics Warfare Programme (MEWP) to deliver battle-winning operational advantage on Type 45, 26 and 31 frigates, as well as the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

“The ability to understand and exploit the increasingly complex electro-magnetic environment is critical for the operational success of the Royal Navy. This technology will deliver a generational leap in our electronic warfare capabilities to ensure we maintain the operational advantage we need well into the 21st century,” Royal Navy Commodore Steve Prest, Senior Responsible Owner for the programme, said.

Babcock, Elbit and QinetiQ will work as one team with DE&S, the navy and Defence Science and Technology Laboratories (Dstl) to design, manufacture, deliver and integrate the capability before providing in-service support for the duration of the contract.

Strengthening maritime capabilities ensures the Royal Navy are spearheading innovation and are prepared for new and emerging threats. This ambition, outlined in the Defence Command Paper, is reinforced by the £24 billion increase in defence spending over the next four years.