Navy expands sonar upgrade project with new digital signal processing equipment aboard submarines
WASHINGTON, 18 March 2016. Sonar experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are expanding the number of U.S. Navy submarines on which they are preparing to install the latest generation of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) digital signal processing equipment as part of a major sonar upgrade.
Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington on Thursday awarded a $21.1 million contract modification to the Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training segment in Manassas, Va., for engineering and long-lead materials for the Acoustics-Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) technical insertion (TI) 16 program.
This order involves long-lead materials for A-RCI equipment for two Virginia-class fast-attack submarines; one Seawolf-class fast-attack submarine; two Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines; and the engineering development models in support of A-RCI TI-16.
In February 2015 Lockheed Martin won a $71.6 million contract long-lead materials and engineering work for the A-RCI TI-16 program aboard four new Navy Virginia-class fast-attack submarines.
These long-lead-item orders will enable Lockheed Martin to buy components and equipment that typically take a long time to acquire so the company can complete the final sonar installation as soon as possible during construction of the four Virginia-class boats, as well as on upgrades to existing attack and ballistic missile submarines.
A-RCI is a sonar system that integrates and improves towed array, hull array, sphere array, and other sonar signal processing aboard Navy submarines through rapid insertion and rapid upgrades of COTS-based hardware and software.
The A-RCI TI-16 sonar program involves vast improvements in acoustic sensing by using the latest commercially developed digital signal processing technology to enhance submarine sonar performance without changing the actual sonar sensors aboard the new and upgraded submarines.
The contract calls for Lockheed Martin to support new and upgraded large aperture bow array (LAB), lightweight wide-aperture array (LWWAA), legacy replacement, and EC-20 high-frequency sonar array aboard the new and upgraded attack and missile submarines.
The company also will start developing improvements for new and modified acoustic sensor systems, upgrade common forward-fit and back-fit networking, and move advanced processing builds (APBs) into their specific submarines, trainers, and shore-based facilities.
The long lead materials contract is necessary for the program to maintain schedule, officials say. Purchasing all necessary long lead material ensures that the Navy and Lockheed Martin will receive a cost break, Navy officials say.
On the contract modification announced Thursday Lockheed Martin will do the work in Manassas, Va.; Clearwater, Fla.; Marion, Mass.; and Syracuse, N.Y., and should be finished by August 2020.
For more information contact Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training online at www.lockheedmartin.com/us/mst, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.