Northrop Grumman lands $16.6 million contract

Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $16.6 million contract to demonstrate a system that allows submarines to launch conventional cruise missiles rather than nuclear missiles.

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Electronic Systems sector has been awarded a $16.6 million contract for the demonstration and validation (DEM/VAL) of a Multiple All-Up-Round Canister (MAC) concept used to adapt the missile tubes of Ship Submersible Ballistic Nuclear (SSBN) submarines from launching nuclear ballistic missiles to conventional cruise missiles.

The reconfigured submarine will be known as the Ship Submersible Guided Nuclear (SSGN).

Naval Sea Systems Command has overall responsibility for the SSGN conversion and has assigned responsibility for the Attack Weapon System (AWS) to the US Navy’s Strategic Systems Programs (SSP), which awarded the contract.

According to Northrop Grumman, the MAC is a subsystem of the AWS that will replace the existing Trident ballistic missile launch tubes and provide for the storage and launch of up to seven Tomahawk missiles from each submarine missile tube. Each SSBN submarine will be able to accommodate as many as 154 precision-guided, conventional land-attack Tomahawk weapons.

Work on the 18-month contract will be performed at Northrop Grumman’s Marine Systems business unit in Sunnyvale, California, and at General Dynamics’ Electric Boat facility in Groton, Connecticut. Subsequent contract phases for system development and production are valued at more than $100 million.

Tasks covered under this DEM/VAL phase will include test planning, design and fabrication of test equipment, component risk reduction testing and, ultimately, a full-scale Tomahawk test launch from an SSBN submarine using a prototype MAC.