Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)
and the U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command, along with
members of the government-contractor team, will celebrate the delivery
of the first mission package for the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) at
ceremonies tomorrow in Panama City, Fla. This first package is for the
mine warfare mission, and is one of the three initial warfare packages
being developed for the LCS.
Mission packages allow the LCS the flexibility to support three
mission areas -- mine, warfare, anti-submarine warfare and surface
warfare. Everything needed for a specific mission -- from weapons to
sensor systems to control centers to air vehicles to spares -- is
containerized and ready for installation and activation aboard any LCS.
This modular approach allows an LCS to pull into port, swap out
mission packages and redeploy with a combat system that is tailored for
the mission at hand and fully integrated into the Navy's battle
Northrop Grumman's LCS Mission Package Integrator (MPI) team is
working with the Navy Laboratories
to deliver the first anti-submarine
and surface warfare packages in 2008 and 2009.
Dr. Delores M. Etter, assistant secretary of the Navy for
Research, Development and Acquisition, will lead the Navy delegation
for the event. Scott Seymour, corporate vice president and sector
president of Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector, will be the
senior company official at the ceremony.
Northrop Grumman is the Navy's LCS MPI, responsible for
delivering high performance, modular, fully integrated weapons
packages. The company's LCS MPI team supports the Navy laboratories
that are developing and delivering the first several prototypes.
Northrop Grumman ensures that the mission package components, selected
by the Navy and produced by companies across the nation, work together
as a "plug-and-fight" package. The company also ensures that the
components are integrated seamlessly with the systems within each LCS
and with the greater Navy network in which the LCS functions.
A mission package integrates specialized manned and unmanned
systems that must operate in a combination of air, surface, and
subsurface domains. They comprise warfighting capabilities (e.g. mine
hunting systems, maritime security systems) along with ISO
transportation containers, mission package support equipment,
multi-vehicle control systems, the mission computing environment, and
the operators. All mission packages will have at least one Fire Scout
unmanned vehicle, a Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems product.
The mission package components are housed within a set of
standard ISO containers called Twenty Equivalent Units (TEU) -- boxes
20 feet long, 8 feet wide and 8 feet tall. There are nine TEUs in the
mine countermeasures package. The ISO standardization ensures
compatible, worldwide inter-modal transportation capability that allows
containers to be shipped to staging areas around the world.
The mission packages are developed by the Navy's Mission Modules
program office (PMS 420), part of the Program Executive Office -
Littoral Mine Warfare. Another part of that office, the Navy's Mine
Warfare program office (PMS 495), provides mine warfare systems and
modules including the AN/WLD-1 Remote Minehunting System; the
AN/AQS-20A Sonar Mine Detecting Set; and the Airborne Laser Mine
Detection System (ALMDS), among other systems.
ALMDS, which was developed Northrop Grumman, is one of its newest
mine warfare components. ALMDS is helicopter-mounted and deployed
forward of the fleet to survey the ocean for potential mine threats.
The ALMDS Light Detection and Ranging Sensor pod can be easily moved
from its mission package container and attached to the port side of an
MH-60S helicopter. The sensor's laser provides wide-area coverage for
the detection and localization of near-surface and moored mines in the
littoral region. In flight, the laser makes a wide-swath sweep (like a
push broom) through the water, collecting 3-D imagery of the water
Future mission packages will include Northrop Grumman's Rapid
Airborne Mine Clearance System (RAMICS) and Coastal Battlefield
Reconnaissance and Analysis (COBRA) system.