Northrop Grumman to develop new Navy shipboard navigation system to replace ageing AN/WSN-7

WASHINGTON, 1 Dec. 2015. U.S. Navy shipboard electronics experts are moving forward with a project to replace the aging AN/WSN-7 ring laser gyro for shipboard navigation with a new inertial sensor module to enable surface vessels to navigate accurately without GPS satellite navigation.

Northrop Grumman to develop new Navy shipboard navigation system to replace ageing AN/WSN-7
Northrop Grumman to develop new Navy shipboard navigation system to replace ageing AN/WSN-7
WASHINGTON, 1 Dec. 2015. U.S. Navy shipboard electronics experts are moving forward with a project to replace the aging AN/WSN-7 ring laser gyro for shipboard navigation with a new inertial sensor module to enable surface vessels to navigate accurately without GPS satellite navigation.

Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced a $19.8 million contract Monday to Northrop Grumman Corp. in Charlottesville, Va., to develop the Inertial Navigation Systems Replacement (INS-R) Inertial Sensor Module (ISM).

The INS-R ISM will serve as the Navy's primary position source in the absence of a Global Positioning System (GPS). The INS-R will provide mission critical ship positioning, velocity, and altitude data to shipboard sensors, combat systems, guns, and missile systems.

Monday's contract calls for Northrop Grumman to develop and build the INS-R ISM, as well as to provide spare parts and technical support. The contract has options that could increase its value to $47.8 million.

The company will provide engineering development models, pre-production units, low-rate initial production, and two years of full-rate production.

Related: Dynamic positioning (DP) market for surface ship navigation to hit $1.48 billion by 2020

The INS-R will replace the AN/WSN-7 ring laser gyro navigation system, which uses 25 year old technology based on the NATO MK49 inertial navigation system deployed in the late 1980s, Navy officials say. The INS-R will provide improved real-time navigation for Navy surface warships, and enable future technology growth.

An INS-R ship set will consist of two dual-redundant navigator units -- one in the aft section of the ship and one in a forward section -- that will operate independently of one other for survivability.

Northrop Grumman engineers will use an open-systems architecture for the system using a modular design, standards-based interfaces, and widely supported consensus-based standards to facilitate future technology insertion and technology refresh, Navy officials say.

The contract calls for Northrop Grumman to use as many commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components as possible in the INS-R ISM design.

On this contract Northrop Grumman will do the work in Charlottesville, Va.; Woodland Hills, Calif.; and Salt Lake City, and should be finished by November 2016. For more information contact Northrop Grumman online at www.northropgrumman.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.facebook.com/NAVSEA.

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