Navy Awards SEWIP Block III Contract to Northrop Grumman

February 12, 2015 9:56 PM
AN/SLQ-32 "Slick 32" on a destroyer in 2009. US Navy Photo
AN/SLQ-32 “Slick 32” on a destroyer in 2009. US Navy Photo

Northrop Grumman has won the contract to develop the next generation system U.S. surface ships will use to jam or confuse incoming enemy missiles, according to a Navy announcement.

The cost-plus-incentive fee contract for preliminary design of the AN/SLQ-32(V)Y Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 System includes options to, if exercised, that could bring the contract award to $267 million.

The SEWIP program is set to replace the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare “Slick 32” system that was introduced in the 1970s to the U.S. Navy.

“The SEWIP Block 3 will include improvements for the electronic attack by providing integrated countermeasures against radio frequency-guided threats and extending frequency range coverage. The Block 3 will be installed on surface combatants that have the existing active version of the SLQ-32,” reads a description from the service.

With SEWIP (pronounced Sea Whip), the service is incrementally upgrading the electronic warfare capability of its ships.
Lockheed Martin previously won a contract for SEWIP Block II – improving antennas and software for the system and General Dynamics won several Block I development contracts.

The entire program is about a $5.3 billion effort.

Northrop Grumman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Block III contract competitor – a Lockheed Martin-Raytheon teaming effort – said they’ll ask the service for more information on the award.

“The Lockheed Martin-Raytheon team will meet with the U.S. Navy to better understand their selection decision regarding SEWIP Block III,” a Lockheed Martin spokesman told USNI News in an emailed statement.
“We stand behind our affordable and innovative solution and remain fully committed to increasing the U.S. Navy’s surface ship electronic attack capabilities.”

The following is the complete Feb. 12, 2015 statement from the service on the contract award.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation has been awarded a cost-plus-incentive fee contract for preliminary design of the AN/SLQ-32(V)Y Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 System. This contract includes options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $267,180,566.

SEWIP is designed to upgrade the existing AN/SLQ-32(V) Electronic Warfare System (EWS) through a modular, open-system approach. SEWIP provides enhanced shipboard electronic warfare capabilities for early detection, analysis, threat warning and protection from anti-ship missiles. SEWIP Block 1 focused on obsolescence mitigation and special signal intercept. SEWIP Block 2 focused on electronic support capability improvements. SEWIP Block 3 will focus on electronic attack capability improvements. SEWIP Block 3 will provide a common electronic attack capability to U.S. Navy cruisers, destroyers, aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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