Navy testing ‘ultra-light’ electronic attack capability for small ships

By Nick Wilson / January 18, 2023 at 1:43 PM

The Navy successfully tested a prototype electronic attack system intended to provide anti-ship missile defense capabilities to small ships, according to a release from Northrop Grumman, the contractor.

Published last week, the announcement states that an initial demonstration of the future Ultra-Lite Electronic Attack (EA) prototype was conducted by Northrop Grumman and the Naval Research Laboratory during last summer’s Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

The system is undergoing additional concept demonstrations this month to assess reliability and scalability.

The earlier demonstration was conducted aboard an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, where the prototype transceiver technology was paired with the Navy’s EA antenna. The “scaled-down” system is small and light to enable use on small vessels.

“This at-sea demonstration proves Northrop Grumman's future low-size, weight and power, scaled EA solution can effectively support U.S. Navy missions,” said Monta Harrell, Northrop Grumman’s director of maritime electronic warfare advanced solutions, in a statement included in the release.

“The lessons learned from the RIMPAC exercise provide real-world insights into our low-risk architectural solution for smaller ships that will revolutionize EA for the U.S. Navy,” Harrell’s statement continues.