Employees of ManTech International of Fairfax begin work this month on a five-year, $49m Navy contract to research and test underwater sonar systems for identifying and tracking submarines and ships.
ManTech expects to hire about 40 to 50 engineers, technicians, scientists and other workers globally under the contract with the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, in Bethesda, said Kenneth J. Farquhar, president of ManTech Systems Engineering. Some of those workers will be based in Bethesda while others will be located in the District, in Florida and at Navy locations worldwide.
ManTech had been doing similar work for the Navy under a previous contract that expired. The company has more than 6,000 employees and had 2005 revenue of $980.3 million. About two-thirds of the total revenue is from federal contracts, mostly in defense.
ManTech will be evaluating and helping to develop acoustic sensors and processing equipment used by the Navy to identify and track submarines and ships. The acoustic devices are used to detect the characteristic sounds of a ship or submarine and to measure differences in those sounds based on various modifications to the vessels. Each vessel, including submarines and ships, produces its own sound signature, and the Navy's goal is to maintain up-to-date devices to track those signatures.
ManTech will perform acoustic sensor and processing systems development, testing and evaluation, and surface ship and submarine acoustic measurements. The company said it will also furnish shipboard and land-based infrastructure, facility support and program management.
The technology may be applied to military and commercial fleets, both underwater and on the surface, though Farquhar said details of how it will be used are classified. It may be used both to assist in modifications to reduce noisiness and improve stealth of U.S. fleets and to aid in identifying foreign fleets.
Constant research and development is required because scientists worldwide are always innovating and discovering ways to reduce submarine noise with better propulsion design and improved hull design.
Source: Washington Chronicle