C4iSR: Air

Lockheed Martin to develop ‘Silent CROW’ for US Army Multi-Function EW programme

14 February 2019

Artist rendering of the Silent CROW podded system mounted on a Gray Eagle UAS. Source: Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin's recent deal to provide its Silent CROW podded system for the US Army's Multi-Function Electronic Warfare (MFEW) programme is part of a broader surge of interest in electronic warfare/cyber offensive capabilities, the company has told Jane's .

Lockheed Martin announced in late January that it had won an USD18 million deal to design, develop, and test the EW podded system for the 'Air Large' component of the MFEW family of systems programme, focusing on the Gray Eagle group 4 unmanned aircraft system (UAS). Silent CROW is an open architecture system that can be configured for different airborne and ground platforms. It is meant to enable US soldiers to disrupt, deny, degrade, deceive, and destroy adversaries' electronic systems through a variety of electronic and cyber techniques, Lockheed Martin said.

The target platform under Air Large is a group 4 UAS, such as the Gray Eagle, said John Wojnar, a Lockheed Martin director. However, he said, "The same technology could be useful for any kind of electronic warfare, intelligence, cyber, and space capabilities for multi-domain operations," with Lockheed Martin seeing an increased interest in the area from its customers.

The award consists of two sequential 18-month phased efforts, according to a statement from the US Army's Project Manager - Electronic Warfare & Cyber Office. The first phase will deliver one prototype system, and demonstrate airborne electronic attack/electronic support capabilities on a surrogate aircraft. Upon the successful completion of Phase 1, a Phase 2 agreement would be executed to deliver four systems for integration onto the Gray Eagle UAS. The Phase 2 award is planned for the first quarter of fiscal year 2020 (FY 2020), although the army is evaluating options to accelerate the programme and gain the capabilities at an earlier date, perhaps as early as the fourth quarter of FY 2019.

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