Submarine sonar system upgrades for Virginia-class vessels to be done by Lockheed Martin

WASHINGTON, 21 Aug. 2009. Submarine warfare experts at the Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors (MS2) segment in Manassas, Va., will provide submarine sonar upgrades for the ten existing U.S. Navy Virginia-class attack submarines, as well as new sonar system equipment for the next four Virginia-class boats to be built.

WASHINGTON, 21 Aug. 2009.Submarine warfare experts at the Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors (MS2) segment in Manassas, Va., will provide submarine sonar upgrades for the 10 existing U.S. Navy Virginia-class attack submarines, as well as new sonar system equipment for the next four Virginia-class boats to be built.

Lockheed Martin will provide Acoustic Rapid COTS Insertion (A-RCI) submarine technology for existing and future models of the Virginia-class attack submarine under terms of a $25.1 million contract modification awarded 19 Aug. by officials of Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington.

Lockheed Martin is the lead contractor for the Navy's A-RCI initiative to provide anti submarine sonar system upgrades on submarine sonar systems. The cornerstone of the A-RCI underwater sonar program is a common, flexible commercial off the shelf (COTS)-based open-systems architecture using commercial sonar processing equipment that permits the use of complex algorithms that previous sonar processor equipment could not handle.

COTS processors and open systems architecture technology and systems enable onboard computing power for sonar detection to grow at nearly the same rate as commercial industry.

This facilitates regular updates to software and hardware with minimal influence on submarine scheduling. The use of COTS equipment in the A-RCI program has substantially reduced costs while at the time same time significantly improved processing capability, Lockheed Martin officials say.

For existing Virginia-class attack submarines, Lockheed Martin will upgrade the submarine's sonar towed array, hull sonar array, sphere sonar array, and other ship sensor processing with A-RCI hardware and software -- an approach that Navy officials say has already been integrated into the first 10 ships of the Virginia class which have now begun a modernization program.

Work will be in Manassas, Va., and Clearwater, Fla., and should be finished by December 2011.

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