Lockheed to upgrade electronic defense system for MH-60R helicopter fleet

By Nick Wilson / April 8, 2024 at 8:00 AM

NATIONAL HARBOR, MD -- Lockheed Martin and Intel subsidiary Altera have been contracted by the office of the under secretary of defense for research and engineering to develop an electronic defense capability that could eventually be equipped on the Navy’s MH-60R helicopter fleet, according to a Monday announcement published ahead of the Navy League's Sea-Air-Space conference.

According to the release, Lockheed aims to develop a "low size, weight and power (SWaP), Sensor Open Systems Architecture (SOSA) aligned airborne electronic defense system,” that will rely on Altera’s “multi-chip package” composed of domestically produced semiconductors.

The final product is intended to eventually serve as an upgrade to the MH-60R’s existing ALQ-210 electronic support measures (ESM) system used for threat identification and situational awareness, company executives told reporters last week.

The $7.7 million contract was awarded “through the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division Strategic & Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems (S2MARTS) Other Transaction Agreement (OTA) vehicle and will be managed by the National Security Technology Accelerator (NSTXL),” the announcement states.

The initiative is part of the Pentagon’s Stimulating Transition for Advanced Microelectronics Packaging (STAMP) program -- an initiative launched in 2022 to rapidly field microelectronics modernization prototypes.

“As a STAMP awardee, Lockheed Martin will advance the progression of technology to enable a defense system that detects and identifies threats with greater speed and accuracy at a significantly reduced SWaP and cost, freeing space for equipment to support other missions,” the announcement states.

“While initially designed for the Sikorsky MH-60R helicopter, STAMP technology applies to platforms across all domains, including air, land and sea,” the release adds.

Work will extend through the next 18 months with the companies first integrating their technologies before beginning testing with the MH-60R program toward the end of this window. Company officials were unable to specify when the system may be fielded to the fleet.