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01 May 2024

Sweet MEWSIC – experts give thumbs up to Navy’s new electronic warfare system

Sweet MEWSIC – experts give thumbs up to Navy’s new electronic warfare system
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Royal Navy Press Release
Expert operators and scientists have given the thumbs up to the Navy’s next-generation electronic warfare system after testing the first version.

The Maritime Electronic Warfare System Integrated Capability (MEWSIC) will be the backbone of future operations, upgrading radar electronic support and electronic warfare Command and Control capabilities for the Fleet.

It’s due to be fitted to the nation’s two Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carriers, all six Type 45 destroyers, and the entire next-generation frigate force: eight Type 26 City-class sub-hunters, and the five Type 31 Inspiration-class general purpose warships.

Though rarely publicised, Electronic Warfare is – and will continue to be – the cornerstone of identifying enemy forces, equipment and movement to help the RN plan and conduct operations, along with the sharing of intelligence by exploiting electromagnetic energy.

A ten-strong team – six Royal Navy electronic warfare experts, two scientists from DSTL, the government’s military labs, and two experts from Defence Equipment and Support – was invited to test the first software ‘drop’ of MEWSIC to give them an idea of the equipment they will be using and its capabilities – and its advantages over the existing EW systems when operating in a complex, congested electromagnetic environment.

What truly takes MEWSIC to the next level is EWC2 – Electromagnetic Warfare Command and Control. It’s a new capability which allows the automatic fusing together of all the received electromagnetic emissions with the tactical picture to give the team in the ops room increased situational awareness, helping them to better understand the operational environment and deliver the right countermeasures at the right time to the right place.

It uses machine-readable tactics to lift the operator out from “being in the loop to being on the loop” in the decision-making process.

In conjunction with raising warfighting capabilities from the data to the Information layer, a set of extensive planning tools are provided to enable the operator to set up, configure, and update the system with the latest intelligence to rehearse scenarios before and on way to operational areas.

The testers were supervised by experts and engineers from Babcock and Elbit Systems, and offered their feedback throughout which will influencer the next version of the software to improve both the user experience – and the effectiveness of MEWSIC.

The support and involvement of future users is vital to the continuous development of MEWSIC so that when it’s rolled out to the Fleet operators can make maximum use of its potential.

“We found the system intuitive and very simple to operate. Moving forward, we welcome the opportunity to revisit the suppliers’ facility to witness and interact with future system software ‘drops’ which will include additional capability, notably EWC2 and mission planning,” said EW specialist Warrant Officer 2 Rob Nelson.

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