Northrop Grumman and ACB Partner for New Concept

Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Grumman Corporation in partnership with Aluminum Chambered Boats, Inc. (ACB), "splashed" into Bellingham Bay in Washington recently, initiating its in-water evaluation. The Riverine experimental boat -- named Joint Multimission Expeditionary Craft -- integrates Northrop Grumman's leading-edge navigation, surveillance, network and command and control systems into an innovative, tactical-class hull form designed and built by ACB. ACB's design is 41 ft. long with a 9-foot-11-inch beam and a draft of only 28 inches. Powered by two Cummins QSC 8.3-liter, 540 HP turbocharged diesel engines, the Joint Multimission Expeditionary Craft has a top speed of 48 miles per hour. With a crew of four, the new boat has room for another two observers and, depending on the mission, can also ferry a 14-member combat team or various cargoes up rivers or streams.

Northrop Grumman has designed a suite of network-centric warfare mission systems for the boat. These include integrated electro-optical/infrared and radar sensors with 360-degree field of view; VHF/UHF radios with Internet Protocol capability (and provisions for growth for other radios); a wireless intercom system with active noise cancellation; common operator workstations with 17-inch color displays that have night vision compatibility and selectable crew station functions. "Our goal was to apply Northrop Grumman's wealth of weapon systems integration expertise to the emerging opportunities in littoral and maneuver warfare. We've spent decades developing systems that enable distributed and networked operations. In today's dangerous world, these systems let us work with our allies to enhance theater security. Integrated systems on craft such as our Riverine concept enable us to collectively prosecute those who seek to exploit the seams in our security by availing themselves of the shallows, saltpans, marshes and rivers," said David Stafford, vice president of Maritime and Tactical Systems for Northrop Grumman.

The Joint Multimission Expeditionary Craft and its systems will be demonstrated for the first time to potential customers and the press at the Multi-agency Craft Conference, June 5-7 in Little Creek, Va.

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