The Naval Research Laboratory (NRO) was recently granted urgent approval to bypass the usual course of action when upgrading military systems through competitive contracts. The sense of urgency was due to a “newly discovered threat” against the Navy’s faulty AN-SQL-32, an embarkable prototype electronic warfare (EW) system. The SLQ-32 “Slick-32” is the Navy’s primary electronic warfare system to protect ships against the threat of missile attack.
There’s an imminent threat to U.S. Navy surface warships, which evidently has Navy leaders worried.
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington are working fast to develop a new kind of electronic warfare (EW) module that can be fitted quickly onto ships to meet these threats. They are working with EW experts at the ITT Exelis Electronic Systems division in Van Nuys, Calif., who will help manufacture and install the new EW system.
Although Navy officials are not spelling out what this newly discovered threat to shipping is, we can assume it has something to do with advanced radar-guided anti-ship cruise missiles , or something similar.
The Navy’s current Raytheon AN/SLQ-32 shipboard EW system was conceived in the early 1970s in part from lessons learned from an incident during the Six-Day War in 1967 when Egypt sank the Israeli destroyer Elath using a Soviet SS-N-2 STYX anti-ship missile. Upgrades are being made to the SLQ-32 system under the Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP).
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