Home Europe UK investing £100M in electronic warfare upgrades for Royal Navy fleet

UK investing £100M in electronic warfare upgrades for Royal Navy fleet

HMS Queen Elizabeth
Royal Navy file photo

The UK defense ministry has awarded a £100-million contract to three companies for the upgrade of electronic warfare capabilities on Royal Navy surface combatants.

Awarded to Babcock, Elbit Systems UK and QinetiQ, the contract will see Royal navy ships upgraded with new EW capabilities to allow more simultaneous detection and identification of radio signals over a greater frequency range than current capabilities.

The upgrades will aid faster operational decision-making, enhanced situational awareness and anti-ship missile defense capability.

This is the first phase of a £500-million Maritime Electronics Warfare Programme (MEWP) to deliver operational advantage on Type 45, 26 and 31 frigates, as well as the Queen Elizabeth class aircraft carriers.

“In a world of rapidly evolving threats, these enhancements will upgrade the Royal Navy with pioneering radar detection capabilities maintaining the UK’s operational advantage at sea,” UK defense secretary Ben Wallace said.

“The £100-million investment with key industry partners will underpin vital defense outputs whilst supporting jobs and investment in the South-West of England.”

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 maritime EW suites that will comprise full-spectrum radar electronic support measures (RESM) and EW command and control (EWC2) systems.

“The ability to understand and exploit the increasingly complex electro-magnetic environment is critical for the operational success of the Royal Navy,” senior responsible owner for the program, Royal Navy Commodore Steve Prest, said.

“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.”