The UK Ministry of Defense has injected extra funding into MBDA to expedite the advancement of the SPEAR-EW stand-in jammer, announced the manufacturer on September 12.
SPEAR-EW, an electronic warfare system, receives additional funding for its development during the Rapid Design Phase, focusing on sub-system refinement and mission and planning evaluation.
Leonardo is responsible for developing the electronic warfare payload of the weapon, utilizing its Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) technology. This technology will provide SPEAR-EW with advanced sensing and electronic attack capabilities.
Operators can employ SPEAR-EW to jam enemy radar systems and generate deceptive electronic warfare effects, diverting threat systems’ attention from crewed aircraft or effectors, stated the company.
“SPEAR-EW will be a true game-changer for the suppression and defeat of enemy air defenses. As we have seen lately, air defense networks are exceptionally hard to operate against with today’s toolkit: SPEAR-EW is the key that will enable allied air forces to unlock this challenge and gain air superiority”, said Chris Allam, Managing Director of MBDA UK.
Iain Bancroft, SVP Electronic Warfare at Leonardo UK, said: “SPEAR-EW will incorporate a world-class electronic warfare payload, designed and manufactured here in Luton, UK. Based on our experience providing on-board jamming capabilities for the Eurofighter Typhoon and, more recently, off-board jamming in the form of our BriteCloud expendable active decoy, our technology can reliably beat current threats while remaining adaptable for the threats of the future”.
SPEAR-EW shares the identical airframe as the Royal Air Force’s MBDA-produced SPEAR miniature cruise missile, resulting in cost efficiencies during its development. This commonality facilitates a unified integration and launcher solution, which in turn minimizes logistical complexities and enhances potential payload capacity, stated MBDA.
While the UK MoD has not disclosed a specific timeline for the introduction of the SPEAR-EW system, it is set to be deployed on the Typhoon and Lockheed Martin F-35B aircraft in the future.