Monday, January 31, 2011

Lockheed Martin to build sonar system hardware for U.S. Navy guided-missile and fast-attack submarines

Submarine sonar engineers at the Lockheed Martin Corp. Mission Systems and Sensors (MS2) segment in Manassas, Va., will build hardware for the Acoustics-Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) system improvement and integration program for the guided missile submarines USS Ohio (SSGN 726) and USS Georgia (SSGN 729), as well as the fast-attack submarine USS California (SSN 781) under terms of a $11.3 million U.S. Navy contract modification announced Friday.

A-RCI is a sonar system that integrates and improves towed array, hull array, sphere array, and other ship sensor processing, through rapid insertion of commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS)-based hardware and software. The Navy is buying about 12 A-RCI systems per year from Lockheed Martin MS2 over the next four years. Awarding the contract were officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington.

The USS Ohio was the first submarine of the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine class. This boat, as well as its sister USS Georgia are being converted to carry a variety of conventionally armed guided missiles for anti-ship and land attack use. The new guided missile payloads aboard the Ohio and Georgia will replace the nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles for which the two submarines were originally designed.

The fast attack boat USS California, meanwhile, is a Virginia-class attack submarine, and is one of the newest, most advanced, and most deadly attack submarines in the U.S. Navy fleet.

The A-RCI program follows a spiral development model that calls for new hardware every even year, and software upgrades every odd year. Lockheed Martin will do the work in Manassas, Va., and Clearwater, Fla., and should be finished by 2018. System upgrades are fielded in 18 to 24 months increments, allowing the government to take advantage of commercial information technology, Lockheed Martin officials say.

"By adapting commercial technology in an open architecture environment, the program rapidly delivers capability to the submarine fleet at a lower cost than a unique custom-built development," explains Jack Gellen, Lockheed Martin vice president of anti-submarine warfare and integration programs.

Lockheed Martin will do the work on this contract modification in Manassas, Va., and in Clearwater, Fla., and should be finished by April 2014.
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