Lockheed Martin announced that the Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) system it has developed for the US Navy (USN) has just passed Preliminary Design Review.
The AOEW Active Mission Payload (AMP) AN/ALQ-248 system is a self-contained EW pod that can be mounted on a Sikorsky MH-60R or MH-60S to provide persistent electronic surveillance (detection) and attack (countermeasure) capability against naval threats such as anti-ship missiles.
"The battlefield at sea is constantly changing," said Joe Ottaviano, Electronic Warfare Programme Director. "Our AOEW capabilities will give the USN a powerful tool to detect threats and respond to our adversaries."
The AOEW can either work independently or with the ship’s on-board electronic surveillance sensor, Lockheed Martin’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Programme (SEWIP) Block 2 AN/SLQ-32, to detect an incoming missile and evaluate its trajectory and direction. The AOEW then uses radio frequency countermeasure techniques to deter the missile.
The USN awarded the $42million contract to Lockheed Martin on 23 December 2016 for the system design and development phase. Later this year, Lockheed Martin expects to be awarded the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the contract, which has options for six units; if all options in the contract are exercised, it will deliver up to 18 AMP AN/ALQ-248 pods to the USN. Construction of the systems is slated to begin in early 2018, to meet the programme’s 2021 initial operational capability goal.