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Royal Navy EW programme achieves major milestone

The RN's Type 26 frigates are among one class of ship being installed with Elbit Systems' electronic intelligence solution as part of MEWSIC Increment 1. (BAE Systems)

The programme to deliver a next-generation electronic surveillance system for the Royal Navy's (RN) surface warships has passed the critical design review (CDR), the UK Ministry of Defence announced on 13 November.

Known as the Maritime Electronic Warfare System Integrated Capability (MEWSIC), the programme – being delivered by Babcock, Elbit Systems UK, and QinetiQ – aims to enhance anti-ship missile defence as well as improve the detection and identification of emitters at ranges greater than is currently possible.

Following culmination of the CDR stage, the manufacture, testing, and acceptance phases can now proceed, the announcement said.

In November 2021 a Babcock-led team was awarded the GBP100 million 13-year MEWSIC Increment 1 contract to enhance the RN's situational awareness and improve ship protection. Elbit Systems UK are providing the electronic warfare (EW) capability, encompassing digital full-spectrum Radar Electronic Support Measures (RESM) and EW command-and-control (EWC2) systems. The solution is based on elements of the company's maritime EW suite – eM-e.

MEWSIC will be installed on Type 45 destroyers, Queen Elizabeth aircraft carriers, and the Type 26 and Type 31 frigates being built in Scotland. The programme forms part of the wider RN Maritime Electronic Warfare Programme (MEWP), which aims to improve shipborne EW capabilities and bolster protection against anti-ship missiles.

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