The US Navy has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman to provide engineering and production planning services for surface warfare and mine countermeasures mission module components in support of its littoral combat ship (LCS) programme.
Under the $28m contract, Northrop will team up with the US Navy Program Office to ensure that the mission package components are integrated with other LCS systems and US Navy networks where LCSs operate.
Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems information operations and electronic attack director Doug Shaffer said: "As the mission package integrator, Northrop Grumman continues to demonstrate its ability to provide the navy with fully integrated mission modules that fit seamlessly with the seaframes."
The mission packages will be used to merge manned and unmanned systems, which operate in air, surface and subsurface applications.
Designed to support mine countermeasures, littoral anti-submarine warfare or littoral surface warfare operations, each mission package features a specific set of subsystems, including data processing equipment, vehicles and sensors.
The LCS is a fast, highly manoeuvrable, networked surface combat ship and can operate in littoral waters to counter potential asymmetric threats such as coastal mines, quiet diesel submarines as well as terrorists on small, fast, armed boats.
Designed to meet the urgent requirement for shallow draft vessels, the high-speed combat ship can cruise at a speed of 40k.
The US Navy has received the first mine countermeasures mission module for LCS and the second mine countermeasures mission module is being constructed by Northrop, which has already delivered two surface warfare mission modules.
Image: USS Independence (LCS-2) conducting mission at sea. Photo: courtesy of General Dynamics.