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US Navy awards $29 mln contract to Northrop Grumman

The littoral combat ship USS Independence (LCS 2). Photo by: US Navy photo/Bill Pointer.

NEW YORK (BNS): The US Navy has awarded a $29 million contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation for the production and delivery of Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Mission Packages.

Under the contract, the company will deliver three mission module packages – one for mine countermeasures and two for surface warfare missions.

"The US Navy set high standards of performance for us as their Mission Package Integrator, and we met or exceeded their standards and milestones," Dan Chang, vice president, Northrop Grumman Maritime and Tactical Systems, was quoted as saying in the company news release.

Each mission package is a unique group of modules, or subsystems. The mine countermeasures package, for example, comprises a range of mine hunting systems, such as the Airborne Laser Mine Detection System, the Remote Minehunting System and the Fire Scout vertical takeoff unmanned air vehicle. These are packaged in standard ISO shipping containers.

The packages are designed to be stored at a military port, where it can be loaded onto a ship relatively quickly depending on the mission the ship is asked to undertake. While there are only two types of mission packages, Northrop Grumman said it expects others to be developed by the Navy in the future for an expanded range of missions.

Delivery of the first surface warfare package is scheduled to early 2012, while the other two packages are slated to be delivered later that year. The production site will be announced later.

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