$101.1M to Develop the MK6 LE – So, What’s That?Dec 15, 2005 00:45 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (CSDL) in Cambridge, MA received a $101.1 million modification to previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee contract (N00030-05-C-0007) to develop all the system software and algorithms, system sensors, gyroscopes, and accelerometers for the MK6 LE system. CSDL will also build all the system test beds and integrate all the subsystems produced by the subcontractors (General Dynamics, Raytheon, Honeywell, Dynamics Research Corp.) into the final MK6 LE proof of concept model.
Very interesting. So, what’s a “Mk6 LE” – sounds like something out of a James Bond film, doesn’t it? Actually, that guess would be close: on January 25, 2005, DoD DefenseLINK gave us the answer…
“The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (CSDL), Cambridge, Mass., will be awarded a $62,042,901 cost plus incentive fee contract for the design and development of the TRIDENT II (D-5) missile guidance subsystem life extension program. This contract contains options, which if exercised, would increase the cumulative value of the contract to $285,981,794 and will extend the period of performance through September 2009.”
Missile guidance systems do have shelf lives, and it would appear that one of the contract options has been exercised for another year of effort. Extended service from the Ohio Class SSBN submarines that carry these missiles means that the most important component of America’s nuclear deterrent also requires a life extension program – and the MK6 LE is a critical part of that, given the aging 1980s technology in the present Mk6 systems. A subsequent DID article offers a more in-depth briefing re: those life extension efforts.
With respect to the subcontractors and their roles in the ongoing Mk6 LE R&D effort:
- General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (GDAIS) in Pittsfield, MA received a subcontract with an estimated value of $5.7 million in January 2005, and an undefined sum in the December 2005 contract. GDAIS performs system design and analysis, algorithm design and verification, system integration and reliability, availability and maintainability tasks.
- Raytheon Co. Electronics Systems Division in El Segundo, CA received a subcontract with an estimated value of $15 million in January 2005, and an undefined sum in the December 2005 contract. Raytheon performs radiation testing, MK6 LE module design, and breadboarding of MK6 LE system components.
- Honeywell International Space Systems Group in Clearwater, FL received a subcontract with an estimated value of $8.5 million in January 2005, and an undefined sum in the December 2005 contract. Honeywell performs design of the MK6 LE memory and the design, development and delivery of strategic grade Interferometric Fiber Optic Gyroscope (IFOG) prototype units.
- Dynamics Research Corp. in Andover MA is new to the roster, and will provide technical support in the design of the communication and timing subsystem and MK6 LE test equipment. The subcontracted contract value was not defined in the December 2005 announcement.
CSDL’s work will be performed in Cambridge, MA, and this contract modification is expected to end in September 2007. At that point, it will be up to the US Navy to renew it again if they wish. The contract was not competitively procured by the Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs in Washington, DC.