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February 5, 2019updated 06 Feb 2019 9:32am

Leonardo wins €180m NATO contract to upgrade EW training equipment

Global defence company Leonardo has secured a €180m ($206m) contract from NATO to upgrade electronic warfare (EW) training equipment, as part of the NATO Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS) capability package.

By Talal Husseini

Global defence company Leonardo has secured a €180m ($206m) contract from NATO to upgrade electronic warfare (EW) training equipment, as part of the NATO Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS) capability package.

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) awarded the contract to Leonardo as the NATO JEWCS host nation. Leonardo is expected to deliver the EW training equipment in batches over the next four years.

Leonardo Integrated Mission Solutions vice-president Mark Hewer told Air Force Technology: “The future of warfare is no longer about the fastest jets or largest ships. Instead, tomorrow’s victors will dominate the electromagnetic spectrum. This is what electronic warfare is all about.”

The equipment will give NATO forces experience of how to counter EW, for example, when enemy combatants are trying to disrupt NATO’s radars, GPS systems and communications.

The aim is to simulate the effects of enemy EW activity so soldiers know how to counteract it. To this end, NATO JEWCS will deploy its new EW training equipment across Europe so its allied armed forces can stop realistic disruptive EW in training exercises.

Under the contract, Leonardo has brought on UK tech firm Cobham to supply an EW podded system that can be installed on aircraft. Members of the air force will also be able to train in the use of soft-kill countermeasures to disable threats from incoming missiles.

"Cobham is committed to working with Leonardo to provide NATO with the latest generation training and technology solutions to support effective operations with the electronic warfare environment."

Cobham secured the £50m contract through Leonardo for its EW podded system under the NATO Anti-Ship Missile Defence Evaluation Facility (NASMDEF) programme.

Cobham senior vice-president and general manager Paul Armstrong said: “We are delighted to have secured this contract which demonstrates Cobham’s extensive experience delivering EW training and supporting pod technology.

“We have been developing our latest pods to meet the increasingly sophisticated, ever changing and future threats faced in contested environments.  Cobham is committed to working with Leonardo to provide NATO with the latest generation training and technology solutions to support effective operations with the electronic warfare environment.”

While Cobham is developing its systems for air capabilities, Leonardo has contracted Italian firm Elettronica to supply ruggedised shelters and vehicles with built-in EW simulators and jamming equipment for maritime and land operations.

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