Lockheed Martin, Maritime Systems and Sensors in Manassas, VA is exercising a $5.3 million option under previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee/ cost-plus-award-fee contract N00039-04-C-0035 for optional contract line item number 0003. This provides for a critical design, development and demonstration of a fully integrated Advanced Deployable System (ADS, System Development and Demonstration phase), and delivery for technical and operational evaluations. This increases the estimated cumulative value of the contract, if all options are exercised, from $239.1 million to $243.3 million.
Modern diesel submarines have advanced propulsion systems and coatings, and many of them are hard to detect with the current sonar technologies aboard the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered submarines and surface ships. As nations in Asia and beyond race to buy these vessels, the US Navy’s Antisubmarine Warfare (ASW) Task Force is preparing for that future with a new “concept of operations” that includes new tactics and new technologies. It’s the first major revision of anti-submarine doctrine since the middle of the Cold War.
Anteon Technologies and BAE Systems are together developing a new anti-torpedo technology for DARPA. The system is an effort to create an array of speakers along the side of a hull arranged so that they can collectively shoot out (and aim) shockwaves at incoming threats. New Scientist published a summary of the technology. It notes that the technology may run afoul of increasing concerns that underwater sound systems are hurting marine wildlife.
Northrop Grumman Corp. Airborne Ground Surveillance and Battle Management Systems in Melbourne, FL received a $124.5 million firm-fixed-price/ incentives letter contract for 3 Low-Rate Initial Production units of the AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS).
Rear Admiral William E. Landay, the U.S. Navy’s Program Executive Officer for littoral and mine warfare (q.v. recent U.S. doctrinal changes in that area), said ALMDS “represents the first new technology to be applied to mine [hunting] since the advent of sonar.” In addition, Northrop Grumman has now released additional information about the devices and the program.
BAE Systems Information and Electronics Systems Integration Inc. in Nashau, NH, is being awarded a $5 million cost-plus-fee contract for the Littoral ASW Multi-Statistics Project for the development and testing of an advanced off board low frequency acoustic source receiver. DID has covered the USA’s changing ASW doctrine in response to the diesel sub threat and it focus on advanced sensor nets and even more unusual options; this is simply one more project as part of that broad constellation of effort.
Work will be performed in Nashau, NH, and is expected to be complete in September 2008. This contract was competitively procured under a Broad Agency Announcement Number 05-001, with more than two offers received. The Office of Naval Research, Arlington, VA issued the contract (N00014-05-C-0158).
Small business qualifier Phoenix Science & Technology Inc. in Chelmsford, MA received a not to exceed $15 million Phase III, Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Program contract for Topic N95-005 entitled “Surface Discharge Low Frequency Acoustic Source,” Topic N02-153 entitled “High-Efficiency Plasma Sparkers for New Applications,” and Topic N03-188 entitled “High Source Level Plasma Sparkers Driven by High-Energy Density Capacitors for Navy Applications.”
The Type 23 frigate HMS Northumberland began her journey back to Devonport on Aug 11/05, following a year-long, GBP 20 million (USD $36.1 million) refit at Babcock’s dockyard in Rosyth. That refit added a number of combat enhancements, and also made the frigate the first Royal Navy ship to have a revolutionary silicone paint called Intersleek 700 applied to its hull.
L-3 Communications Corp.’s Ocean Systems Division in Sylmar, CA received a $49.1 million cost-plus-fixed-fee, firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract to support, repair, and upgrade the TB-23/BQ thinline towed array system and support equipment. Towed array sonars are kind of like Christmas lights, except each light is a sonar emitter. They trail in the water behind moving ships, which accept the data they generate and collate each emitter’s data into a powerful underwater picture.
Work will be performed at L-3 Communications Ocean Systems Division, Sylmar, Calif. and is expected to be completed September 2010. The contract was not competitively procured. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C issued the contract (N00024-05-C-6237). Parent Company L-3 Communications has recently made headlines for its multi-billion dollar acquisition of Titan, and also for the criminal investigation aimed at one of its subsidiaries over the CESL emergency radio scandal.
Defense Industry Daily has noted that the proliferation of quiet diesel subs, especially in and around Asia’s vital shipping lanes, is forcing changes in U.S. tactics and technology. Now Australian scientists may have found a better way to find these quiet subs, and in an environmentally safe fashion too.
MAGSAFE uses the detection of changing magnetic fields to identify and monitor a moving submarine. It’s unique in that it captures 12 magnetic field-related data values per reading, as opposed to the single number measured by a conventional magnetic anomaly detector (MAD) magnetometer. DefenseTech.org has further details.