Lockheed Martin's advanced hullform ship Sea SLICE will participate as a littoral warfare ship in the Navy's Fleet Battle Experiment Juliet (FBE-J) this summer. Sea SLICE, designated as a High Speed Vessel
(HSV) for the exercise, will demonstrate the flexibility achievable by "modularity" in a small, fast, highly maneuverable platform.
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems (NE&SS)-Marine Systems has overall responsibility for developing Sea SLICE. Other Lockheed
Martin business units, including NE&SS-Tactical Systems, NE&SS-Radar
Systems, NE&SS-Surface Systems, Missiles and Fire Control, Mission Systems and Information Systems, are contributing technologies that will be included in the ship.
During FBE-J, which will take place from July 24-August 7, Sea SLICE will operate no more than 80 miles off the San Diego coast in a cluttered littoral combat environment against surface, sub-surface and air threats.
Sea SLICE will provide "modular mission capabilities" through multi-mission modules, permitting execution of different operations in series.
The multi-mission modules include: Force Protection/Combat Equipment Module, Mission Module, and Berthing Module. The modular configuration will vary dependent on operations to be conducted. Modules will be fitted out to perform Mine Countermeasures (MCM), Anti-submarine Warfare
(ASW), Force Protection and Time Critical Targeting. In MCM and ASW experimentation, Sea
SLICE will be integrated with two types of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs), a towed sonar, and a simulated torpedo system.
A modular Combat Information Center (CIC) in the deckhouse will provide all command and control and systems integration to effectively engage in all live fire and simulated events during FBE-J.
Some of the weapons to be tested include the joint Lockheed Martin and
Oerlikon Contraves 35mm Millenium Gun and the NetFires System and launcher, intended to launch Lockheed Martin developed Loitering Attack Munitions
(LAM). The Millenium Gun will be installed on the bow of Sea SLICE, and the
NetFires launcher will be placed on the aft portion of the ship.
Sea SLICE is expected to participate in a live fire testing of the Millenium
Gun, a missile launch from the NetFires System launcher, and a simulated torpedo strike against a simulated enemy submarine.
An integrated sensor package will include Lockheed Martin's Silent Sentry passive radar system
, and three FLIR Systems Inc. sensor devices that provide infrared, electro-optical and laser ranging capabilities.
The name SLICE refers to how the ship moves through rough waters. The ship has an advanced hullform that provides for outstanding stability and speed in high sea states and is capable of 30-plus knots in wave heights of up to 12 ft. (Sea State 5). This unique hullform is a variant on SWATH (Small Water-Plane Area Twin-Hull) technology and has four separate underwater hulls that provide buoyancy, propulsion, and excellent hydrodynamic efficiencies. The ship is controlled by a patented PC-based canard and stabilizer steering and motion control system
. SLICE technology is predicted to yield speeds of 45 knots in Sea State 6 (13 to 20 ft. seas); however a larger ship with greater propulsion than the existing Sea SLICE vessel is required.