The US Navy has awarded a contract to L-3 Communications to replace the machinery control system (MCS) on Military Sealift Command’s (MSC) T-AOE fast combat support ships.

The company will provide services including design, build, test, integration, installation, commissioning and spares for the ship’s new machinery and cargo control system, under the contract valued at over $40m.

The L-3 MCS uses commercial programmable logic controller (PLC) technology combined with its proven control system software, and provides control and automation of the ship’s propulsion, electrical, cargo handling and auxiliary systems, and remote monitoring.

MSC has a fleet of four fast combat support ships that provide for the replenishment of fuel, ammunition, food and other cargo.

The 48,500t, 754ft-long, T-AOE 6 Class ships can simultaneously transfer fuel, ammunition and stores to ships in carrier groups, thereby reducing at-sea alongside time.

The contract has options for the remaining ships of the class.