5 Facts about the Navy’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program

5 Facts about the Navy’s SEWIP
July 28, 2021


In modern warfare, an invisible battle rages across the electromagnetic spectrum. The ability to see and thwart adversary attacks requires constantly evolving technology. For more than 10 years, Lockheed Martin has partnered with the U.S. Navy to develop and produce the AN/SLQ-32(V)6, the Block 2 evolution of the Navy’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP). Here are five facts about this critical capability. 

1. SEWIP Block 2 provides the surface Navy fleet with improved anti-ship missile defense and situational awareness.

SEWIP Block 2 is deployed on dozens of Arleigh Burke class Guided Missile Destroyers and will eventually be deployed on nearly all U.S. Navy surface combatants, including both classes of Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). Additionally, the U.S. Coast Guard will benefit from SEWIP Block 2 capability on their fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters. The SEWIP Block 2 system provides early detection, analysis, and threat warning from anti-ship missiles for surface ships. The situational awareness it provides can help sailors protect their ships from these invisible radio frequency threats. 

2. SEWIP technology will continuously evolve to stay ahead of evolving threats.

Block 2 is the latest deployed improvement in an evolutionary succession of “blocks” the Navy uses to add new defensive technologies and capabilities. The Lockheed Martin SEWIP Block 2 system transitioned from a development program to full-rate production in September 2016. The system provides a significant advancement in capability to protect sailors and the fleet with expanded frequency coverage, increased sensitivity, advanced electromagnetic interference protection, lower life cycle costs and a scalable open architecture. Under our design agent contract with the Navy, SEWIP Block 2 capability and technology will continue to evolve to outpace modern threats.   

3. Lockheed Martin’s team in Syracuse, NY delivered the 100th SEWIP Block 2 system to the Navy this summer.

Our team is on the second, five-year, full-rate production run. The most recent contract ensures SEWIP Block 2 system production through 2022, with additional options that can be exercised to continue production through 2024.

4. We’ve made SEWIP smaller, but just as capable!

Through internal research and development, Navy investment and support, and partnerships with the Naval Research Laboratory, (NRL) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), our engineering design team developed and produced a smaller SEWIP Block 2. This scaled variant is commonly referred to as SEWIP “Lite.” While it may only be about half the size of SEWIP, it still provides significant electronic support capability to smaller surface combatants where size, weight and power constraints are limited. That coupled with a lower per system cost make SEWIP “Lite” a powerful electronic support solution for many smaller platforms, including LCS.

5. SEWIP Block 2 is the heart, soul and brain of the Surface Electronic Warfare suite.  

While Block 2 is one of multiple “block improvements” being developed and implemented over time across the US Navy Fleet, SEWIP remains at the core of the U.S. Navy’s electronic warfare mission. All other blocks are built around the command, control and integration facilitated by Block 2. The system interfaces with the Aegis Combat System, giving full situational awareness of the electromagnetic spectrum to the surface combatant commander. It can be used to cue and control the arsenal of threat responses available to the fleet now and in the future.