The US Navy has awarded a contract to DRS Technologies to provide a modernised integrated voice communications system (IVCS) for the navy’s Aegis cruisers and destroyers.

The IVCS is a computer-controlled telephone system that consists of two interconnected interior-communications switching centres, dial terminals, net terminals, terminal accessories and associated cabling.

The system can be connected to the ship’s announcing system, shore telephone lines, radio communications and certain battle sound-powered telephone circuits.

The Aegis combat system is an integrated combination of sensors, weapons, computers, software and display systems.

The five-year contract has options, which if exercised would make the cumulative value $59m. Work under the initial $14m contract will be carried out at the company’s facilities in Canada and across the US and is expected to be complete by 2010.