The US Navy has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman to upgrade the navigation systems on three of the navy’s Cyclone Class patrol craft.

Under the contract, the company will equip each vessel with an integrated bridge system that functions with the fleet-standard voyage management system (VMS) software.

The Sperry Marine system on the patrol craft will be upgraded with a three-node system that includes the naval electronic chart display and information system (ECDIS-N), an adaptive autopilot and gyrocompass along with installation support services.

Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine vice-president J Nolasco DaCunha said the patrol craft bridge upgrades would give the patrol craft the same navigation technology that is standardised across the rest of the US Navy fleet.

“They will provide improved situational awareness and enhanced navigation safety for the ship’s watchstanders, giving them a real-time, constantly updated picture of the ship’s position and movement relative to navigation aids and hazards on a large high-resolution screen,” he said.

Sperry Marine’s VMS is the standard electronic navigation software for the navy surface vessels and submarines used to convert the fleet from hand plotting on paper nautical charts to automated navigation and piloting on computerised chart displays.