Counter missile pod

An MH-60R Sea Hawk assigned to Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 49 (HSM-49) ‘Scorpions’ approaches the flight deck of guided-missile destroyer USS Sterett (DDG 104). The MH-60R helicopter and its MH-60S sister are the destination types for the ALQ-248 AOEW pod.
Mass Communication Specialist Alexander Kubitza/US Navy

Lockheed Martin expects to produce the first engineering development model (EDM) of the ALQ-248 Advanced Ofboard Electronic Warfare (AOEW) pod by late 2019 according to Joe Ottaviano, director of electronic warfare programmes at Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems, speaking on November 28, 2018, at the Association of Old Crows International Symposium in Washington.

The AOEW pod, carried by MH-60R or MH-60S Seahawk helicopters, is an of board electronic attack system to counter anti-ship cruise missiles. The helicopter provides power, but the pod’s operation is independent of the helicopter crew and linked to the Raytheon SLQ-32(V)6/SLQ-32(V)7 shipboard electronic warfare system.

Joe Ottaviano said: “It’s a new capability that will be a challenge to test because of the novelty of the capability. It is designed to be autonomous or [alternatively] work with the fleet.”

A pod representative of a mission-capable ALQ-248 has successfully completed a it check on an MH-60 and can be attached to either side of the helicopter.

The system completed its critical design review in June, Lockheed Martin has been awarded a contract for six EDM standard pods, initial operational capability is planned for the 2020, and additional pods are expected to be procured in a low-rate initial production order between 2021 and 2022.