US-based firm Peraton has won a $12m contract for unmanned maritime systems support (UMSS) for the US Navy Marine Mammal Systems Engineering Services.

The 30-month indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract was awarded by the US Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center (SSC) Pacific.

Defense and Homeland Security president John Coleman said: “Peraton has been performing this highly specialised work on the US Navy’s Marine Mammal Program since 2004.

“This successive re-compete contract award enables us to continue our trusted partnership in delivering performance excellence to advance SSC Pacific’s mission.”

The latest US Navy marine mammal programme contract is one of seven orders that Peraton has under UMSS for technical and operational support to SSC Pacific Maritime Systems Division for unmanned maritime systems involved in mine counter-measures.

“This successive re-compete contract award enables us to continue our trusted partnership in delivering performance excellence to advance SSC Pacific’s mission.”

Dolphins are a well-documented ally with naval forces. The US Navy has been using dolphins in mine counter-measure operations since the 1950s and has even developed a special probiotic to keep the dolphins strong and healthy – nicknamed Dolphin Yoghurt.

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Under the contract, Peraton will perform logistics planning and analysis for marine mammal systems. The company will ensure systems’ certifications; provide design engineering and fabrication for marine mammal specialty and ancillary equipment; and provide maintenance support for deployable equipment.

In particular, the Marine Mammal Systems Engineering Services task order will support the SSC Pacific Reconnaissance and Interdiction Division from three locations: Naval Base Point Loma, San Diego, California; Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, Georgia; and Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor, Washington.

Based in Herndon, Virginia, Peraton provides intelligence, cyber, defence, homeland security and communications capabilities. It is partner to the Intelligence Community, Department of Defense, as well as select federal agencies and commercial entities.

In March 2018, Peraton secured a contract to detect, secure and remove unexploded mines on land and at sea, under the US Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal programme.