Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $60 million subcontract by Northrop Grumman to design and manufacture Lightweight Wide Aperture Array (LWWAA) acoustic sensor systems for the fifth and sixth Virginia Class submarines, SSN 778 and 779.
The LWWAA system is a set of large array panels mounted on either side of the submarine that provides major sonar sensor input to the submarine’s combat system.
Instead of traditional ceramic hydrophone sensors, the LWWAA uses fibre-optic and laser technologies to convert an enemy’s acoustic energy in the water into information that can be used to track or shoot.
‘Lockheed Martin continued to show cost improvements over the first four LWWAA deliveries for Virginia Class submarines,’ said Bob Fry, manager, Submarine and Carrier Procurement at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard, the contracting agent for submarine builder Electric Boat.
‘This contract demonstrates sustained performance and provides evidence that Virginia multi- year procurement can achieve real savings for the Navy and the taxpayers,’ added Fry.