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
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
"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.