$48.5M to Alion for Torpedo Detection System R&D and Testing
Alion Science and Technology in McLean, VA received a task order (N00178-04-D-4066) from the US Navy valued at $48.5 million to research, design, develop, prototype, integrate and test a new torpedo detection system in conjunction with the Navy’s anti-torpedo countermeasure technology effort.
The task order, awarded under the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport’s Seaport-Enhanced (Seaport-e) contract, supports the Naval Sea Systems (NAVSEA) Undersea Defensive Warfare Systems Program Office with anti-torpedo torpedo defensive system (ATTDS) torpedo detection, classification and localization (TDCL) technology.
Seaport-e is a $5.3 billion multiple-award umbrella contract that lets the US Navy use an integrated approach to contracting for support services.
The ATTDS TDCL is a project [PDF] within the Navy’s Surface Ship Torpedo Defense (SSTD) program.
The ATTDS uses towed TDCL sensors added to the AN/SLQ-25A (Nixie) torpedo countermeasure system, as well as command and control processors to detect and provide anti-torpedo torpedo (ATT) preset and launch orders and a launcher for the ATT.
Modern torpedoes still use acoustic homing, bearing in on the noise created by their target ship’s propellers and machinery. Nixie is trailed underwater by coaxial signal/tow cables. An operator aboard the ship controls the device via that coaxial cable. The streamlined main body (‘fish’) houses the acoustic projector. The Nixie acts as a decoy by generating a more attractive acoustic signal, producing more noise than its tow vessel in order to defeat a torpedo’s passive acoustic homing. But, active acoustic homing is also used by many torpedoes. To deceive the active acoustic sensors, Nixie must intercept their ‘pings’, amplify them, and then return these signals to the homing torpedo in a way that confuses it.
There are a number of AN/SLQ-25A Nixie upgraded versions. The AN/SLQ-25B includes improved deceptive countermeasures capabilities, a fiber optic display LAN, a torpedo alertment capability and a towed array sensor. The AN/SLQ-25C configuration includes a more reliable power amplifier, COTS signal generator with new operational capability, and a littoral fiber optic tow cable (LFOTC) for operation in shallow water. AN/SLQ-25D is an open architecture. The AN/SLQ-25D is based on an open architecture that will serve as a host to other systems thereby supporting other information gathering and threat detection.
The awarding of the Seaport-e task order follows the demonstration of new TDCL technology developed by Alion and its team members over the past 4 years. Alion will evaluate the TDCL system both in the laboratory and at sea.
Alion will be providing:
- active TDCL detection and track signal processing;
- performance prediction and analysis including analysis tool development;
- modeling and simulation including element level hardware in the loop simulation/stimulation; and
- system trade-off and risk mitigation studies
The period of performance for the task order runs through May 2014. Alion’s team includes 3 Phoenix, Adaptive Methods, Advanced Reasoning, Angle, BAE Systems, BBN, Daniel H. Wagner Assoc., General Dynamics Information Technology, L3 and Ultra Electronics.