Babcock selected to deliver RN’s new Ardent Wolf CESM suite

by Richard Scott

HMS Northumberland seen during exercise ‘Cold Response’ in March 2022. The new CESM Ardent Wolf capability will replace the current Hammerhead system on RN Type 23 frigates. (copyright Royal Navy/Crown)

UK engineering and services group Babcock has been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) to provide a new Maritime Communications Electronic Support Measures (CESM) capability to replace the Hammerhead CESM suite fitted to type frigates 23 of the Royal Navy (RN).

The company announced Oct. 6 that the six-year program will supply, install and support new Ardent Wolf CESM capability on RN Type 23 vessels. The contract – the value of which has not been disclosed – will include the installation , equipment repair and maintenance, system and design security, contractor logistics support, training and all updates.

Babcock have partnered with a specialist UK based small to medium sized enterprise (SME) to supply Ardent Wolf. The SME involved has not been identified, but appears to be an established supplier of signals intelligence/radio frequency monitoring equipment.

The Ministry of Defense began procurement activity for Ardent Wolf in mid-2021, outlining plans for a UK-made solution based on a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) product readily available at a high level of technical preparation. The new system is required to utilize the existing CESM infrastructure on the Type 23 frigates, with the contract expected to provide a minimum of seven COTS systems.

Babcock previously delivered the Hammerhead CESM system to the RN in partnership with US contractor Argon ST (a subsidiary of Boeing). In April 2021, Babcock received a £1.3 million ($1.47 million) Hammerhead life extension contract from the MoD to keep existing equipment in service until March 2025.

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UK engineering and services group Babcock have been contracted by the UK Ministry of Defense (MoD) to…

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