Lockheed Martin Wins Contracts for Thin Line Towed Arrays
Towed arrays create a longer baseline than other types of underwater sensors, which enhances detection capabilities. According to the 2002 edition of the US Navy’s Vision…Presence…Power: A Guide to U.S. Navy Programs, the TB-29A is a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) version of the legacy TB-29 towed array:
“[The TB-29A] arrays will be used for back-fit on Los Angeles (SSN-688 and SSN-688I) and Seawolf (SSN-21) submarines and forward-fit on the Virginia (SSN-774) class. TB-29A will also be used for the SURTASS [Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System] Twin-line towed array system. It will provide greater capability than the current TB-23 Thin Line towed arrays and achieve enhanced supportability through commonality. TB-29A uses COTS telemetry to significantly reduce unit cost while maintaining superior array performance. These arrays were recently tested with SURTASS ships and will support the IUSS [Integrated Undersea Surveillance System] community…Coupled with the submarine A-RCI system, TB-29A arrays are expected to provide the same 400-500 percent increase in detection capability against quiet submerged platforms in blue-water and shallow-water areas, as the current TB-29 has demonstrated recently.”
Note that A-RCI referenced above is a sonar system upgrade installed on the US Navy’s entire submarine fleet, including SSN-688 Los Angeles & SSN-688I Improved Los Angeles Class, SSN-21 Seawolf Class, SSN-744 Virginia Class, SSBN-726 Ohio Class nuclear missile boats, and the new SSGN Tactical Trident special ops and strike subs. “USA Upgrades Submarine Fleet Acoustics Under A-RCI Program (updated)” has more on that system.
Contracts & Key Events
Awards are managed by the US Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard, DC. Unless otherwise indicated, Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors in Syracuse, NY. L-3 Communications is not mentioned, but they are a major subcontractor on the TB-29A program.
March 1/10: A $14.7 million modification to previously awarded contract (N00024-09-C-6238) to build 5 TB-29A thin line towed arrays (TLTA). This would be the previously-mentioned option, bringing the total contract to 10 TLTAs and $29.9 million.
Lockheed Martin will perform the work under the TB-29A contract in Syracuse, NY (62%); Salt Lake City, UT (15%); Millersville, MD (15%); Mauldin, SC (4%), and Cambridge, MA (4%), and is expected to be complete by March 2012. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity.
Sept 14/09: A $15.2 million firm-fixed-price contract for the production of 5 TB-29A thin line towed arrays (TLTAs), which are passive underwater acoustic sensors attached by tow cables to surface ships and submarines. This contract contains options, which, if exercised, will bring its total cumulative value to $29.9 million.
Lockheed Martin will perform the work under the TB-29A contract in Syracuse, NY (62%); Salt Lake City, UT (15%); Millersville, MD (15%); Mauldin, SC (4%), and Cambridge, MA (4%), and expects to complete it by January 2011. This contract was competitively awarded based upon a limited competition with 1 offer received by the Naval Sea Systems Command at the Washington Navy Yard, DC (N00024-09-C-6238).
Additional Readings & Sources
- DID Spotlight (Aug 23/09) – USA Upgrades Submarine Fleet Acoustics Under A-RCI Program
- DID (Dec 21/06) – Chesapeake Continues Work on TB-33 Sumarine Towed Arrays
- US Navy – Cost Reduction in the TB-29A Towed System
- US Navy (2002) – Vision…Presence…Power: A Guide to U.S. Navy Programs – Chapter 3
- Lockheed Martin – Towed Array Systems [PDF]
- Lockheed Martin (Nov 1/01) – Lockheed Martin Delivers First Next-Generation TB-29A Towed Array to U.S. Navy
- Subsim.com – Ships, Sensors, and Weapons