Lockheed Martin to upgrade U.S. Navy submarine communication mast antenna systems

MARION, Mass., 17 July 2009. Lockheed Martin in a joint venture with Granite State Manufacturing (GSM) in Manchester, N.H., won a $6.9 million contract from the U.S. Navy to design, test, and manufacture an upgraded Multifunction Mast Antenna System to improve submarine communications.

Currently, all U.S. Navy submarines operating at periscope depth, including the new Virginia-class attack submarines, use the antenna system as their primary method to communicate with aircraft, surface ships, and land-based assets. The system – designated the OE-538 – provides high performance, erectable mast-mounted communication and navigation capabilities.

The upgraded OE-538/BRC Multifunction Mast Antenna System will provide submarine communications with improved performance in the UHF signal band. It also will add Link 16, Iridium and Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) UHF satellite communications capabilities, while maintaining performance in legacy bands. Lockheed Martin expects to upgrade and return to the fleet at least 12 systems per year over six years. If all options are exercised, the cumulative value of the contract is estimated at $57.6 million.

"Lockheed Martin has provided more than 90 OE-538 systems for the U.S. and allied navies since 1989," says Joe Rappisi, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's Marion-based business. "This upgrade ensures compatibility with new satellites and evolving communication systems to ensure that submarine forces will remain connected to the global information grid."

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