$9.3M for New Arresting Gear Components
Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems in Sykesville, MD received a $9.3 million order against a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract (N68335-02-D-0023) for 10 Valve Actuation and Control (VAC) system production units: 4 systems for CVN 77 George H.W. Bush under construction, 5 systems for CVN 70 USS Carl Vinson which is undergoing a major overhaul, and 1 shore-based system for training. The VAC system is intended to replace the existing control and actuation system of the Mark 7 Aircraft Arresting Gear that stops high-speed aircraft following the controlled crash of a carrier landing. As Navy Matters puts it:
“The current USN standard is the Mark 7 Mod 3, however starting with the USS Ronald Reagan [DID: CVN 76] the USN is moving to a new three-wire Mark 7 Mod 4 arresting gear design (actually four arresting gear engines but with two of them interchangeable as the barricade engine). The new system uses polycore cables designed to withstand more traps than steel cables and extra-large pulleys to reduce maintenance and man-hours, and provides the capability to land potentially larger and heavier aircraft. It is hoped that the new design will reduce maintenance requirements by half by increasing the time interval between inspections and overhauls, in addition, the costs associated with replacing these high-wear components will be reduced. Another benefit of this system will be that the arresting gear engines will be more accessible to flight line crews.”
Work will be performed in Sykesville, MD and is expected to be complete in May 2009. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division in Lakehurst, NJ issued the contract.