Lockheed Martin tests AOEW system on US Navy MH-60R

Lockheed Martin has supported a successful government test of the firm’s Advanced Off-Board Electronic Warfare (AOEW) system on a US Navy-operated MH-60R Seahawk multi-mission maritime helicopter at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland.

The AOEW is designed to work independently or in conjunction with a warship to detect and destroy incoming threats, including anti-ship missiles, by spoofing and jamming. The AOEW is a podded electronic warfare missile defence system that will provide the US Navy with enhanced electronic surveillance and attack capabilities against anti-ship missile threats. It is designed with evolutionary capabilities and is completely programmable allowing for new techniques to be developed, delivered and deployed as the threat changes.

A US Navy-operated MH-60R Seahawk hangs from the ceiling of 
A US Navy-operated MH-60R Seahawk hangs from the ceiling of  US Navy/Terri Thomas

The system – which will be used on both the MH-60R Seahawk and MH-60S Knighthawk – underwent engagement testing at Patuxent River, demonstrating its electronic attack capabilities and its ability to defeat threats and to quantify system performance. Development of the system began in 2012 as a “rapid response effort” to meet an urgent operational requirement, and the US Navy has so far invested more than $325m in developing the system.

The AOEW system had previously undergone a series of incremental development tests at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Syracuse, New York, and the system will undergo further tests on host platforms in 2024. The results from these will be used to further refine system performance. There is a low-rate initial production contract for the AOEW system in place and deliveries of the first AOEW units are expected during 2024.