New electro-magnetic warfare system for Royal Navy warships passes critical design review

Royal Navy warships to benefit from increased detection and identification of radar signals over longer ranges.

22 November 2023
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A new electro-magnetic warfare system for better protecting Royal Navy warships against anti-ship missiles has passed a critical design review (CDR) and can proceed into manufacture, testing and acceptance.

The Maritime Electronic Warfare System Integrated Capability (MEWSIC), which is part of the Royal Navy’s Maritime Electronic Warfare Programme (MEWP), will provide an enhanced defensive capability against anti-ship missiles.

MEWSIC increment 1 is managed by Defence Equipment & Support and was developed by prime contractor Babcock International in conjunction with Elbit Systems UK.

Once operational, MEWSIC will allow for increased detection and identification of radar signals over a greater range than is currently possible, which will aid faster operational decision-making, enhanced situational awareness and improved ship protection.

“Achieving the Critical Design Review milestone is visible confirmation of the Royal Navy’s, DE&S’, Babcock’s and Elbit System UK’s intent to deliver on that promise,” says Cdre Matt Stratton, deputy director of Naval Equipment System Acquisition. “The Royal Navy has invested in an ambitious programme to deliver modern electronic warfare capabilities to its surface warships that will allow them to maintain the UK’s commitments around the world.”

MEWSIC will see the next generation of Radar Electronic Support Measure (RESM) and new Command and Control (EWC2) equipment being installed on Type 45 destroyers, Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, the Type 26 Global Combat Ship and Type 31 frigates being built at Govan and Rosyth shipyards in Scotland.

Cdre Phil Game, DE&S’ head of Maritime Combat Systems, said completion of the Critical Design process is the culmination of several months of collaborative effort between the UK MOD and industry teams to mature and refine the MEWSIC solution. “It gives MOD, and the Navy in particular, a high level of confidence that we are on track to deliver the highly capable system required to protect the fleet from both current and future threats,” he said.

The £100 million, 13-year contract awarded to the industry consortium in 2021 feeds into the One Defence enterprise, which supports around 170 jobs and  includes on-shore facilities delivering training, trials and acceptance. Babcock and Elbit Systems UK have both invested significantly in their people and infrastructure, helping to deliver UK prosperity by generating and sustaining new high-value technology engineering jobs across the UK.

The multi-disciplinary MEWSIC team includes engineers and project managers from Babcock collaborating with Elbit Systems UK’s employees at its new assembly, integration and test facility in Bristol.