Northrop Grumman Awarded $27.6M Contract to Build First Two SEWIP Block III Ship Sets

January 15, 2019 7:16 PM
Artist’s concept of SEWIP Block III aboard a US destroyer. Northrop Grumman Photo

ARLINGTON, Va. — Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract to bring a modern electronic warfare attack capability to U.S. surface ships, company officials told USNI News on Tuesday.

Following a Dec. 21 $27.6 million award, Northrop will now manufacture two low rate initial production Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 ship sets for the service, Brandon White, Northrop director of surface electronic warfare programs, told USNI News on Tuesday.

“This is the culmination of the SEWIP capability,” White said. “From our perspective, we’re really integrating SEWIP Block 1 and Block 2 which were passive capabilities with the electronic attack to really be able to interact with the electromagnetic environment.”

The December award follows a 2015 $267 million test and development contract for the company to develop the third part of the Navy’s panned replacement of the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare “Slick 32” system that was introduced in the 1970s to the U.S. Navy.

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 award will combine Northrop’s electronic attack systems with Lockheed Martin’s existing Block II antennas that improve the surface fleet’s ability to detect signals passively.

“Hardware and software into one integrated package really not only from a [ship’s space, weight and cooling] standpoint but from an interoperability standpoint,” White said. “It really all has to be integrated so that you really get that full picture. There’s a lot of tight alignment between the Block 2 and the Block 3 capability.”

White said SEWIP Block III could be integrated on several types of ship classes not only the Navy’s crop of guided-missile destroyers and cruisers.

“The capability was designed to be modular, so it can scale up and down in physical size as well as in power consumption. That’s one of the primary drivers. We can get more capability in terms of electronic warfare for more power primarily,” White said. “Power is the driver. Then vice versa, we will scale down to smaller ship classes, and the primary component is prime power that we pull from the ship as well.”

Development for the program is expected to be about a $5.3 billion effort.

AN/SLQ-32 “Slick 32” on a destroyer in 2009. US Navy Photo

The following is the Dec. 21, 2018 contract announcement.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp., Linthicum Heights, Maryland, is being awarded a $27,594,541 fixed-price incentive firm-target modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-15-C-5319) to exercise options for the production of two AN/SLQ-32(V)Y Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 system low rate initial production units. SEWIP is an evolutionary acquisition and incremental development program to upgrade the existing AN/SLQ-32(V) electronic warfare system. SEWIP Block 3 will provide select Navy surface ships a scalable electronic warfare enterprise suite with improved electronic attack capabilities. Work will be performed in Linthicum, Maryland (98 percent); and Los Angeles, California (2 percent), and is expected to be completed by June 2021. Fiscal 2017 and 2018 other procurement (Navy) funding in the amount of $27,594,541 will be obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, District of Columbia, is the contracting activity.


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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