The Navy needs to upgrade electronic warfare technology faster on more of its surface ships because potential enemies are developing weapons designed to penetrate defensive systems on many U.S. cruisers and destroyers, service leaders said.
The service is now in the process of upgrading its existing SLQ-32 Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program, or SEWIP — an electronic warfare sensor now on many guided missile cruisers and destroyers.
SEWIP is designed to detect approaching threats, such as anti-ship cruise missiles in time for ship commanders to take defensive or protective actions. It is configured to provide early detection, signal analysis and threat warnings against a range of threats.
“We need to keep working on our electromagnetic spectrum but we need to also be able to counter the weapons that they build. I am buying as many SEWIPs as I can. The SLQ-32 is a little panel that looks like an old electronic TV set with panels on the front. We had SLQ-32s when I was a junior officer – on a lot of our ships and that is still what we have,” Vice Adm. Joseph Mulloy, Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, Integration of Capabilities and Resources, said Tuesday.
Ship-based electronic warfare is designed to detect electromagnetic signals from potential adversaries and provide counter-targeting and counter-surveillance technology. For example, the receiver, antenna and software built into the SEWIP system would help detect the presence of an incoming enemy missile, enemy radar or radio activity and aircraft or a surface vessel.
Full article: Admiral: Navy’s Surface Fleet Vulnerable to Attacks Without EW Upgrades (Defense Tech)