The U.K.’s Ministry of Defense awarded a partnership led by Babcock International a $136 million contract on Nov. 9 to upgrade Royal Navy electronic warfare (EW) systems.
The Babcock-led team also includes Israel’s Elbit Systems’ U.K. subsidiary and British company QinetiQ.
The U.K. government said the new EW technology will allow more simultaneous detection and identification of radio signals over a larger frequency range than current capabilities allow. This aims to help with faster operational decision-making, enhance situational awareness and anti-ship missile defense capability, the government said.
This contract is the first phase of a larger $678 million Maritime Electronic Warfare Program (MEWP) to deliver operational advantage to the new Type 45, 26, and 31 frigate classes as well as the Queen Elizabeth-class of two new aircraft carriers.
Elbit in turn received a $100 million contract from Babcock under Increment 1 of the Maritime Electronic Warfare System Integrated Capability (MEWSIC) Program. The company said its contract will last for 13 years and includes in-service support.
Elbit said under the MEWSIC program Elbit UK will design, manufacture and deliver maritime EW suites made of fully digital full-spectrum Radar Electronic Support Measures (RESM) and EW Command and Control (EWC2) systems.
“These latest generation technologies will enhance the situational awareness and anti-ship missile defense of front-line platforms and improve their capability to exploit the electromagnetic environment,” the company said.
“We are proud to be in position to provide such an important capability to the Royal Navy. Elbit Systems UK will work with its local partners on developing and delivering these cutting edge technologies, creating high skilled jobs while providing operational sovereignty and freedom of action,” CEO of Elbit Systems UK Martin Fausset said in a statement.
“This technology will deliver a generational leap in our electronic warfare capabilities to ensure we maintain the operational advantage we need well into the 21st century,” Royal Navy Commodore Steve Prest, senior responsible owner for the program, said in a separate statement.
The Defense Ministry’s Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) organization director of ship support Rear Adm. Jim Higham said he is glad to have achieved the contract award and looks forward to working with the companies.
“Babcock, Elbit and QinetiQ will work as one team with DE&S, the Navy and DSTL (Defence Science and Technology Laboratories) to design, manufacture, deliver and integrate the capability before providing in-service support for the duration of the contract,” Higham said.