Navy orders 16 additional electro-optical submarine masts for U.S. submarine fleet

U.S. Navy undersea warfare experts are ordering 16 non-penetrating electro-optical sensor submarine masts from L-3 KEO in Northampton, Mass., for Virginia-class, fast-attack submarines, and for other kinds of modern submarines without traditional periscope wells.

Apr 20th, 2016

U.S. Navy undersea warfare experts are ordering 16 non-penetrating electro-optical sensor submarine masts from L-3 KEO in Northampton, Mass., for Virginia-class, fast-attack submarines, and for other kinds of modern submarines without traditional periscope wells. The Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $12 million contract to L-3 KEO to provide 16 Universal Modular Mast (UMM) systems for Navy submarines. The Virginia-class is one of the first submarines without a traditional optical periscope that penetrates the vessel's pressure hull and extends upward to enable commanders of submerged submarines to view the scene on the surface. Rather than raising a large periscope from a well inside the submarine's pressure hull, the UMM uses fiber-optic connections between sensors and the submarine. The UMM serves as a lifting mechanism for five different sensors including the photonics mast program, high-data-rate mast, multifunctional mast, multifunctional modular mast, and integrated electronics support measures mast. Users control the UMM with a computer game-like joystick and channel its imagery to digital displays in the submarine's control room as well as to other displays distributed throughout the vessel.

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