The UK Ministry of Defence provided additional funding to MBDA to accelerate the development of the SPEAR-EW stand-in jammer.
SPEAR-EW is a novel electronic warfare effector designed to confuse and suppress enemy air defence, protecting friendly forces and acting as a significant force multiplier.
The additional Rapid Design Phase funding will accelerate SPEAR-EW’s development, maturing all its key sub-systems, and perform mission and planning evaluation.
The weapon’s electronic warfare payload is being developed by Leonardo and utilises the company’s Digital Radio Frequency Memory (DRFM) technology. This technology is mature, was proven effective in trials and will deliver the advanced sensing and electronic attack capabilities of SPEAR-EW. Operators will be able to use SPEAR-EW to jam enemy radar systems as well as deliver more subtle electronic warfare effects such as creating decoy targets to draw the attention of threat systems away from crewed aircraft or effectors.
SPEAR-EW utilises the same airframe as MBDA’s SPEAR miniature cruise missile being manufactured for the Royal Air Force. This commonality has reduced the development costs for SPEAR-EW and is also enabling a joint integration/launcher solution, reducing logistics burden and offering a high load-out potential.