InTop: Sorting out Ships’ Topside MessNov 30, 2011 15:11 UTC by Defense Industry Daily staff
A quick look at almost any modern warship shows a bewildering array of gear on its mast and upper surfaces. These “topside apertures” serve an array of functions, from communications, to data transmission, to electronic listening and defense. Not only do they disrupt ship smoothness, and hence radar profiles, when installed, but they can also be extremely difficult to integrate together so that object A’s transmissions aren’t interfering with critical service B. While firms like Thales in Europe pursue “integrated modular mast” technologies, the US Navy is aiming to go one step beyond. They’re funding “Integrated Topside” R&D to go beyond just a pre-packaged array, and turn all of these little bolt-ons into one common, smooth-running, and upgradeable basic architecture.
InTop for surface ships will be based on AESA radar technology, and aims to become an innovative, scalable suite of electronic warfare, information operations, and line-of-sight communications hardware and software. Its performance goals are to improve ships’ anti-radar profiles, increase communications bandwidth, and resolve electromagnetic interference and compatibility issues…
Contracts & Key Events
Northrop Grumman, as prime contractor, will perform most of the work at its engineering and manufacturing center in Linthicum, MD, with software development at its Goleta, CA facility. The InTop team includes ITT’s Radar, Reconnaissance and Acoustic Systems Division in Van Nuys and Morgan Hill, CA; ArgonST in Fairfax, VA; L-3 Narda in Folsom, CA; and Crane Electronics in Phoenix, AZ.
There’s also an “integrated topside” contract set awarded to Lockheed Martin, aimed at submarine masts, but it won’t be covered here.
Nov 18/11: Northrop Grumman announces $69 million in follow-on and additional task order contracts from the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR) for the Integrated Topside (InTop) program, which is helping to lay a foundation for SEWIP Block 3 detection and electronic warfare devices.
The $66 million option award on the 1st contract funds the continued development, fabrication and integration of an Advanced Development Model (ADM), following a successful $18 million base phase.
A second, $3 million contract includes the development of a low level resource manager and other infrastructural software. The software and infrastructure will align with the NAVSEA Product Line Architecture Common Framework, to simplify transition to the fleet (N0014-10-R-0005, #0004). The 2 efforts will run concurrently, and the ADM system will be delivered in 2013, for field testing at the Naval Research Labs Chesapeake Bay Detachment facility near Chesapeake Beach, MD.
Sept 29/10: The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation to develop and demonstrate the “Integrated Topside” architecture, building off of ONR’s past effort with the advanced multi-function RF concept and the multi-function electronic warfare system.
Northrop Grumman will design/architect an integrated electronics warfare information operations and line of sight communications multifunction system with 360 degrees of coverage in azimuth for naval surface platforms and subsequently fabricate, integrate, test and demonstrate a single quadrant advanced development model variant of the system to support the technology development phase.
The initial contract value is $18.9 million, with completion in July 2011. It has a total estimated value of $109.4 million over the next 4 years, and will run to July 2015, if all contract options are exercised. Northrop Grumman is serving as prime contractor, with work performed at Northrop Grumman’s engineering and manufacturing center in Linthicum Heights, MD (87.69%), and ITT’s Radar, Reconnaissance and Acoustic Systems division in Van Nuys, CA (8.6%), as well as L-3 in Folsom, CA (2.48%), and Crane Electronics in Chandler, AZ (1.23%). The US Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA manages the contract (N0014-10-R-0005, #0002). NGC.
May 21/09: The US Office of Naval Research in Arlington, VA issues 18 indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity multiple award contract for the Integrated Topside Program technology development and system development and demonstration phases. Each contractor will provide efforts that lead to the appropriate integration and management of radio frequency sensor and communications functions into future platforms, with reduced cost, manning and impact on ship design relative to an assembly of federated systems with similar capability.
The program will develop in a spiral manner, from InTop technology development phase advanced development models suitable for proof-of-concept, to subsequent SDD phase systems for full system demonstration prior to installation and deployment. The ordering ceiling for each contract is between $50 – 800 million. These 18 contractors may compete for delivery orders under the terms and conditions of the awarded contract:
- ATK Space Systems, Inc. in Dayton, OH (N00014-09-D-0699)
- Argon ST, Inc. in Fairfax, VA (N00014-09-D-0708)
- BAE Systems, Nashua, NH (N00014-09-D-0690)
- Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. in Broomfield, CO (N00014-09-D-0711)
- The Boeing Co. in Seattle, WA (N00014-09-D-0705)
- Cobham Defense Systems in Landsdale, PA (N00014-09-D-0703)
- Colorado Engineering, Inc. in Colorado Springs, CO (N00014-09-D-0707)
- DRS Signal Solutions, Inc. in Gaithersburg, MD (N00014-09-D-0698)
- FTL Systems, Inc. in Rochester, MN (N00014-09-D-0706)
- General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems in Fairfax, VA (N00014-09-D-0709)
- HYPRES, Inc. in Elmsford, NY (N00014-09-D-0700)
- ITT Corp. in Electronic Systems & Radar Systems in Van Nuys, CA (N00014-09-D-0704)
- ITT Force Protection Systems in Thousand Oaks, CA (N00014-09-D-0701)
- Lockheed Martin Corp. in Moorestown, NJ (N00014-09-D-0702)
- Northrop Grumman Corp. in Baltimore, MD (N00014-09-D-0710)
- Raytheon Co. in Tewksbury, MA (N00014-09-D-0696)
- S2 Corp. in Bozeman, MT (N00014-09-D-0697)
- Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, TX (N00014-09-D-0691)
Work will be performed in various locations, as determined by each delivery order, and the end of ordering period is May 2014. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract set was competitively procured via electronic solicitation.
- DID – US Navy: From “Slick 32s” to SEWIP. An electronic listening and jamming bolt-on for Navy ships.