N-G Gets $159M Littoral Combat Ship Mission Package Integration Contract
The US Navy has awarded a 10-year, cost plus award fee/award term contract with a potential dollar figure of $159 million to Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. in Bethpage, NY. Northrop Grumman will serve as mission package integrator for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mission Modules program. The FY 2006 portion of the contract award is $4.5 million.
The integrator’s role is to as a system-engineering partner responsible for bringing the systems and technologies of the mission modules together, and act as a conduit for technology to be harnessed and incorporated into the LCS seaframe and mission module architectures. They will work closely with the government’s Mission Package Integration Laboratory at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City, FL, strengthening the production team that is slated deliver the first mission packages in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007.
Mission modules are integrated packages of mission-specific equipment that can be swapped in and out of the LCS. The ships will initially draw upon modules for Mine Warfare (MIW), Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) and Surface Warfare (SUW).
The US Navy’s LCS Mission Modules Program Office (PMS420) sees the MPI contract is a significant step forward in their effort to deliver modular, plug-and-fight capabilities. Capt. Walt Wright, Mission Modules Program Manager said: “we will produce integrated packages of mission systems – for Mine Warfare (MIW), Anti-submarine Warfare (ASW) and Surface Warfare (SUW) – that will go to sea aboard LCS.”
PMS 420 packages a variety of technologies, many of which are produced by other program offices and delivered as elements of a particular mission module.
The MIW module, for example, brings together several systems developed by the Mine Warfare program office (PMS 495): the AN/WLD-1 Remote Minehunting UUV System; the AN/AQS-20A towed mine-detecting sonar and sensors; the Organic Airborne Surface Influence Sweep (OASIS); the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (AES-1 ALMDS); the Airborne Mine Neutralization System (AMNS); The Rapid Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS) 30mm cannon with its “supercavitating” ammunition; and others.
At the heart of the ASW anti-submarine module is the Advanced Deployable System (ADS). This fast-deploying underwater sensor net is developed by the Maritime Surveillance Systems program office (PMS 485). Additionally, the ASW module includes acoustic sensors such as a multifunction towed array, and a remote towed active source, along with other detection systems and weapons designed for use aboard the MH-60 helicopter and unmanned surface vessels (USVs) like the Spartan. New technologies like the revolutionary “Sea Sparker” may also find their way into this mix.
The SUW attack module includes the same 30mm cannon used in the Mine Warfare program’s RAMICS mine-disposal system and the Marines’ Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, and adds a version of the US Army’s Non Line-of-Sight – Launch System. NLOS-LS, also known as NETFIRES or “missile-in-a-box.”