More Than Just Simulators Will Defend US Navy Ships in Port
Yesterday, DID described how a sims-style video game was training attack sub sailors to be prepared for security threats while in port. Apparently, the US Navy isn’t stopping there. Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems in Annapolis, MD received a $6 million firm-fixed-price/cost type contract for the Shipboard Protection System (SPS). The purpose of the SPS system is to enhance the ability of surface naval vessels to defeat terrorist attempts or counter other threats while moored to a pier, at anchor, or during restricted maneuvering like canals, narrow littoral channels, etc.
Capabilities for Increment I include: Integrated Surface Surveillance System, and Non-lethal weapons/devices. The surface surveillance system integrates EO/IR sensors, radar, and stabilized guns into a common tactical surveillance system. Non-lethal weaponry will also be included.
The resulting system is designed to provide a host ship with a fully integrated and seamless sensor, analysis, and response system that will provide the means for 360-degree situational awareness and engagement capability around-the-clock, with no increase in ship manning. That last aspect is very important, as many of the U.S. Navy’s future designs assume that automation will significantly reduce their crew numbers.
DTIC’s RDTEN FY 2006 Budget Item Justifications [PDF format] note that SPS is to be fielded in increments through evolutionary acquisition, as defined in DoD Instruction (DoDINST) 5000.2. The incremental approach facilitates the early delivery of economically practical and militarily useful integrated technologies. Future increments with enhanced capabilities will be developed as DoD/commercial research and development capabilities mature and resources permit.
Work on this contract will be performed in Annapolis, MD and is expected to be complete by March 2006. The contract was competitively procured and advertised via the Internet, with four offers received. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, DC issued the contract (N00024-05-C-6304).