The US Navy has awarded a $14.6m contract to Boeing to develop the information transfer system on the its guided missile destroyers.

The gigabit ethernet data multiplex system (GEDMS) controls mission-critical capabilities of the ship and will enhance the shipboard communications.

Under the contract, the company will retrofit the equipment on navy ships including USS Barry, USS Stout and USS Benfold, as well as three foreign navy vessels.

The GEDMS system will replace the fibre-distributed data interface backbone associated with the fibre-optic data multiplex system with a gigabit ethernet backbone to increase the overall shipboard communications networking bandwidth.

The GEDMS system transfers data, command or status messages between various types of user source and user sink devices.

Boeing GEDMS programme manager Jay Nieto said the system will enhance reliability, maintainability and survivability by managing data from the ship’s most basic systems, including navigation, steering control, damage control, machinery control, combat and internal communications.