The US Army and Lockheed Martin are paving the way for advanced EW capabilities

The United States Army and Lockheed Martin successfully tested the Multi-Functional Electronic Warfare-Air Large (MFEW-AL) system, marking a step toward improving electronic warfare capabilities.

This airborne electronic payload demonstrated its capabilities in detecting, tracking, locating and disrupting enemy communications and radars. The test demonstrated the platform agnostic nature of MFEW-AL.

The recent flight test of the MFEW-AL system marks an achievement, as it is the first time in decades that US military electronic warfare soldiers have conducted a series of aerial electronic warfare operations against various threat emitters. This test demonstrated the extended range capabilities and flexibility of the MFEW-AL system to detect and affect multiple signals of interest at various distances.

Previously deployed on an MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system, this test featured an Army fixed-wing aircraft, the MC-12W, demonstrating the system’s platform-agnostic adaptability. The MFEW-AL is an autonomous airborne electronic warfare that can be adapted to different aircraft configurations based on mission requirements.

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From GlobalData

According to the US military, the The MFEW-AL program is set to integrate the system into an MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle in FY24followed by initial operational testing in FY25, with the goal of equipping soldiers for operational use soon thereafter.

The global electronic warfare market, valued at USD 9.1 billion in 2022, is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% during the forecast period. It is expected to reach $13.7 billion by 2032 with a cumulative value of $135.3 billion over the forecast period, according to The Global Electronic Warfare Market Forecast 2022–2032 report.

Deon Viergutz, vice president of Spectrum Convergence at Lockheed Martin, emphasized the innovative nature of MFEW-AL. “MFEW-AL is an innovative convergent technology that addresses our customers’ vision of combined cyber and electronic warfare capability and dominance.

“Working with the US military, this demonstration expanded on all MFEW-AL system testing to date, bringing to light a more complete hardware and software configuration that brings us closer to delivering this technology to our EW Soldiers.”

The MFEW-AL system plays a role in the US Army’s modernization priorities, offering extended range and becoming a key player in multi-domain operations. Based on the modular open suite of C5ISR/EW standards, this technology provides an aerial component to the integrated EW system.

In 2020, Lockheed Martin secured a contract for the second phase of its multi-role Electronic Warfare development program. More flight tests and demonstrations are underway, allowing Lockheed Martin to further improve the system’s performance.

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