The US Navy has awarded a modification contract to Lockheed Martin for providing systems engineering and integration in support of the Navy’s Submarine Warfare Federated Tactical Systems (SWFTS) programme.

Under the $21.9m contract, the company will develop common, open-architecture system-of-systems electronic designs aboard submarines to facilitate interoperability with integrated fighting forces during joint operations.

SWFTS is an engineering and management programme that consists of all submarine combat system subsystems, consultation, command, control, communications, computers, and intelligence to aid in integrating all systems into a single combat system for naval battle group interconnectivity.

The net-centric design approach allows joint forces and the combatant commanders to enhance interoperability with authenticated, trusted, and verified information within authorised users, applications, and weapon systems.

The Navy had previously used five different combat systems on five different submarine classes which include Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine (SSN 688), the improved SSN 688, the Seawolf-class fast attack submarine (SSN 21), the Ohio-class cruise-missile submarine (SSGN 726), and the Virginia-class fast attack submarine (SSN 774).

Focused on open system interface standard, the programme had developed a common architecture for the five different classes of submarines based open architectures and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components and subsystems transforming the submarines from stand-alone vessels to nodes in combat networks.

The integrated combat system supports battle group operations including strike warfare, intelligence collection and surveillance, indication and warning, electronic warfare, special warfare, mine warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and anti-surface ship warfare in the open ocean.

Work on the contract will be carried out in Virginia, Texas, Maryland, North Carolina, Illinois, Rhodes Island, and Connecticut, US and is expected to be completed by September 2012.

The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C., will be the contracting activity.