The Office of Naval Research has awarded Alion Science and Technology a $10.2 million task order to develop and deliver a detailed design package for the Sea Base Connector Transformable-Craft (T-Craft) program. The cost-plus-fixed-fee task order No. 0003 was awarded on May 8. Under Phase II of the T-Craft contract, which was awarded in November 2007, Alion will develop, design and build full and partial scale models of new technologies to demonstrate their viability. These technologies supporting the T-Craft mission include skirt and lift system development, an innovative overland propulsion power distribution system and vehicle transfer technologies. The second phase also requires Alion to finalize a design suitable to support detail design and construction of the full scale demonstrator.
“The Alion T-Craft concept is a Surface Effect Ship that is able to transform into a fully cushioned vehicle in order to become amphibious,” said Ken Siegman, Alion senior vice president and manager of the JJMA Engineering Group. “This ship will have the capability to go across the ocean and link up with a large logistics ship and transfer roll-on, roll-off cargo vehicles and rolling stock from the ships of the sea base to the T-Craft. We are extremely pleased to continue with this program and look forward to helping the Navy make its Seabasing vision a reality.”
Alion will “deliver reports documenting all of the development, testing and design work performed during Phase II,” Siegman added.
Seabasing will be used by the armed forces to build floating bases in areas in which formal ground bases cannot be established. The goal is for production vessels that utilize the T-Craft technologies to be used as sea base connectors, transporting wheeled and tracked vehicles through the surf zone and then onto the beach. The craft will have four modes of operation: open ocean transit mode, transfer cargo at the sea base, sprint, and an amphibious mode to travel over sand bars and mud flats to deliver cargo to the beach.
Alion’s ship is approximately 280 feet long by 80 feet wide with a full load displacement of about 2,000 metric tons. It will have a top speed in excess of 40 knots and will carry 500 tons or the equivalent of six M-1A2 tanks.
The Phase II contract of T-Craft positions Alion to be eligible for the critical Phase III award—construction of the ship—on a $150M contract. The T-Craft ship is expected to be demonstrated in 2014.
The Alion team includes CDI Marine, Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, Nichols Brothers Boat Builders and Marintek in Norway.