Helicopter-borne Pod to Extend Navy’s Electronic Warfare Horizon
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTON, Va.— An anti-ship missile-defense electronic warfare pod that will be carried aloft by Navy helicopters will enable warships to greatly extend their defensive and possibly offensive electronical warfare capabilities.
The Advanced Offboard Electronic Warfare (AOEW) system is being developed by Lockheed Martin to extend the detection range of a warship’s SLQ-32 electronic warfare system, said Joe Ottaviano, the company’s director of electronic warfare. The AOEW program will “put a very capable pod on the MH-60 platform.”
Ottaviano said the AOEW pod can be carried aloft by the MH-60R and MH-60S versions of the Seahawk helicopter based on a guided-missile cruiser or guided-missile destroyer. The pod is installed on a pylon on the helicopter and requires no operation or processing by the helicopter’s crew. The signals intercepted by the pod will be relayed to the shipboard SLQ-32 system upgraded under the Surface Electronic Warfare Program Block 2.
The AOEW pod “gives you additional reach-back capability,” Ottaviano said. “You get a look well over the horizon that will be communicated back to the ship. Depending on what the solution is, you could actually decide to provide some type of response. You can see the adversary well before he can see anything in the fleet and actually engage him in some fashion.”
Ottaviano declined to discuss any active capabilities of the AOEW system but said, “It does provide some capabilities to respond. That’s as far as I can discuss.”