The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on Monday awarded Northrop Grumman [NOC] $58 million for the first full-rate production contract for the Joint Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device (RCIEDs) Electronic Warfare (JCREW) system.

This firm-fixed-price, cost-plus-fixed-fee, cost-only production contract covers Increment One Build One (I1B1) Systems full-rate production in support of the Expeditionary Warfare Program Office.

The JCREW system being tested in the dismounted configuration. Photo: U.S. Navy, Oct. 2014.
The JCREW system being tested in the dismounted configuration. Photo: U.S. Navy, Oct. 2014.

JCREW is a jammer meant to defend against radio-controlled IEDs to protect foot soldiers, vehicles, and permanent structures, referred to in three versions: dismounted systems; mounted systems; and fixed systems. The JCREW Increment One Build One Systems are “the first generation system that develops a common open architecture across all three capabilities and provides protection for worldwide military operations,” the Navy said in the contract announcement.

Northrop Grumman agreed on the importance of the open architecture element and a spokesperson added “the real advantage of open architecture on this system is it allows the capability to get to the warfighters more quickly.”

The Navy characterizes JCREW as a kind of protective bubble for warfighters against IEDs. The company spokesperson said they think everyone agrees this is a “crucial capability” and important system and they are happy to protect warfighters against current and emerging threats.

“This integrated design will maximize commonality across all capabilities, reduce life cycle costs, and provide increased protection against worldwide threats,” a Navy spokesperson told Defense Daily.

The Northrop Grumman spokesperson could not comment on the number of systems it is producing, but said they are making both mounted and dismounted versions of JCREWS.

The JCREW program was approved for operational testing in April 2015 to verify its effectiveness and suitability. Then in October 2015, the Navy awarded Northrop Grumman a $95 sole-source million low-rate initial production (LRIP) contract (Defense Daily, Oct. 2, 2015). This full production contract is follow-on to that earlier contract.

The contract includes options that if exercised would increase the total contract value to $505 million. Production will be performed in San Diego, Calif. with three percent of work in Sierra Vista, Ariz. with an expected completion date of Aug. 2022. The Northrop Grumman spokesperson said they feel very confident options in the contract will be exercised.

Navy fiscal year 2015 and 2016 other procurement-accounts funding was obligated at award time with the vast majority set to expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The contract was competitively procured via the Federal Business Opportunities website with two offers received.

The JCREW system was originally developed by Northrop Grumman and ITT’s [ITT] defense business. Subsequently ITT defense became Exelis Inc. which was later acquired by the Harris Corp. [HRS]. ITT won the sole third option for the JCREW 3.3 contract in 2010 after ITT and Northrop Grumman both produced designs for JCREW 3.3 Phases I and II (Defense Daily, Dec. 20, 2010). Current JCREW contracting work is run solely by by Northrop Grumman.

The Navy manages the JCREW program for the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization within the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.