The decision was made following a successful Milestone C government review, which was done to “assess [the] program’s performance and readiness to enter the production and deployment phase”.
“Milestone C approval and the start of LRIP are significant milestones for the SEWIP Block 3 program,” said Captain Seiko Okano, the US Navy’s major program manager of above water sensors.
“SEWIP Block 3 is a critical capability that the fleet needed yesterday to pace the evolving anti-ship cruise missile threat. We must continue to push to deliver this critical electronic warfare improvement to the fleet on schedule and cost.”
SEWIP Block 3 is the third part of a series of upgrades to the AN/SLQ-32 electronic warfare (EW) system, which will provide electronic attack (EA) capability improvements that are “required to pace the evolving anti-ship missile threat”.
The upgrades were described as a “cornerstone capability” in order to meet the “urgent” operational needs of the US Navy in using electronic warfare.
“I am very proud of the entire team in achieving this significant engineering milestone despite the complexities of pursuing such a demanding technological goal,” said Ingrid Vaughan, vice president and general manager of navigation and maritime systems division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.
“The relentless commitment of the US Navy Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) and Northrop Grumman team in developing this revolutionary electronic attack capability will dramatically assist our fleet in pacing 21st century threats.”
Northrop Grumman has been employed by the US Navy for over four decades to provide expertise to the legacy N/SLQ-32 EW system.