These Blocks Aren’t for Kids

Navy awards Lockheed Martin contract to develop SEWIP Block 2 to protect surface fleet from anti-ship missiles
 

USN-fleet-460x310The Navy recently awarded Lockheed Martin a low-rate initial production contract for Block 2 of the Navy’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) that will be used to upgrade the AN/SLQ-32(V)2 system found on all U.S. aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other warships. Photo courtesy U.S. Navy.

As a child, Joe Ottaviano liked playing with blocks. Now decades later, the Lockheed Martin engineer still enjoys building blocks.

Today, though, the blocks he and his team are interested in aren’t made out of wood or plastic. They help protect the U.S. Navy’s surface fleet from anti-ship missile threats. The Navy recently awarded Lockheed Martin two low-rate initial production contracts totaling $57 million for Block 2 of the Navy’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP).

Lockheed Martin will upgrade the AN/SLQ-32(V)2 system found on all U.S. aircraft carriers, cruisers, destroyers and other warships with key capabilities to determine if the electronic sensors of potential foes are stalking the ship.

“The SEWIP Block 2 upgrade will ensure the AN/SLQ-32 system continues to outpace the threat and establishes a framework to easily install future upgrades,” said Joe Ottaviano, SEWIP program director for Lockheed Martin. “The system is the first sensor to be fully compliant with the Navy’s Product Line Architecture strategy, which facilitates the rapid introduction of new technology into the fleet.”

Block 2 is the latest in an evolutionary succession of improvement “blocks” the Navy is using to upgrade its shipboard electronic warfare system. Each block adds new defensive technologies and functional capabilities.

After receiving a contract in 2009 for preliminary design, Lockheed Martin began developing SEWIP Block 2 at its Syracuse, N.Y., facility, which features a new electronic warfare system test facility. The company recently completed successful integration and test activities for two engineering development models.

As production work on Block 2 begins, the team is already planning for the next upgrade. Last year, Lockheed Martin teamed with Raytheon, the original developer of the AN/SLQ-32, to pursue the Navy’s Block 3 program, which will upgrade SEWIP’s electronic attack capabilities. At last summer’s Rim of the Pacific naval exercise, the team demonstrated its Block 3 solution.

The Navy recently released its request for proposals for Block 3. Responses are due April 15.

Posted on April 1, 2013