Raytheon has been awarded a $46.5 million contract to remanufacture 16 Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) to the Block 1B configuration and produce four additional Phalanx Block 1B upgrade kits for the US Navy.
Phalanx is a rapid-fire, computer-controlled radar and 20-mm gun system that automatically acquires, tracks and destroys enemy threats that have penetrated all other ship defence systems.
The Block 1B Surface Mode Upgrade (PSuM) configuration augments Phalanx’s Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) capability with an Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) capability, adding a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) sensor and optimised gun barrels to the Block 1A configuration.
The FLIR is said to integrate passive thermal tracking capability into Phalanx’s AAW software, significantly increasing Phalanx performance against the anti-ship missile (ASM) threat. It also allows Phalanx to be used in an ASuW role against littoral warfare threats such as helicopters, high-speed surface threats, and terrorist aircraft.
‘This considerable outlay of limited budget dollars is an indication of how serious we in the U.S. Navy are about protecting the crews on our ships,’ said Captain Albert G. Lang, Phalanx program manager for the US Navy. ‘Nothing is more important than our sailors and Marines, and the Phalanx Block 1B is proven to be the best asymmetric threat protection we can provide.’
All work is to be performed in Louisville, Kentucky, and will be complete by May 2004.