The U.S. Marine Corps has selected Northrop Grumman Corp. to provide electronic jamming backpack systems to counter the threat of roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

Under the Counter Radio-controlled IED Electronic Warfare Marine Expeditionary Unit Special Operation Capable, or CREW MEU (SOC), contract, Northrop Grumman will deliver and support five initial production systems for testing.

The maximum ceiling for the firm-fixed-price, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ), multiple award contract is $90 million over five years. The initial contract awarded to Northrop Grumman by PMS (Program Manager, Ships)–408 via the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico, Va., was $4.1 million for five initial CREW MEU (SOC) systems. The Navy will purchase an indefinite number of systems in accordance with an IDIQ award.

Northrop Grumman is offering its Freedom 240 for CREW MEU (SOC) that provides precision electronic jamming of a wide range of IEDs and is designed to create a protective barrier around a Marine ground combat team and their equipment while minimizing disruption to friendly communications systems.

The Freedom 240 dismounted system is part of the Joint CREW Increment 1 Build 1 (I1B1) family of precision multifunctional electronic warfare systems that protect warfighters, vehicles, watercraft and permanent structures from IEDs. The CREW MEU (SOC) and JCREW I1B1 programs are managed by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

"Our troops face the IED threat around the world, and these Marine Expeditionary Units are the ones that go to the most dangerous places at a moment's notice. Northrop Grumman's Freedom 240 dismounted system is lightweight, powerful and designed to keep up with these hard-fighting Marines," said Mike Twyman, sector vice president and general manager, Defense Systems division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems.

"The Freedom 240 is designed to defeat complex clusters of current, emerging and future IED threats. It's also capable of worldwide deployment with only software changes. Because the system features a fully open architecture common across all the JCREW I1B1 variants, the Marine Corps can take advantage of technologies developed by third parties and benefit from the system's flexibility, extensibility, ease of upgrades and reduced lifecycle cost," said Jeannie Hilger, vice president, Network Communication Systems business, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "This award perpetuates the Northrop Grumman Freedom product line, providing the Marine Corps with a software-defined system that supports CREW and enabling future multifunction radio frequency capabilities."

Northrop Grumman Corporation was awarded $14.1 million in January 2013 to complete development of the JCREW I1B1 through the development and demonstration phase in preparation for Milestone C. NAVSEA previously awarded Northrop Grumman a JCREW 3.3 development contract with options in October 2009. JCREW 3.3 is now referred to as JCREW I1B1.

Work on CREW MEU (SOC) will be performed in San Diego.