General Dynamics Electric Boat has been awarded a $32.9 million contract modification by the U.S. Navy to procure three backup photonics masts for Virginia-class submarines. Electric Boat is a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD).
In Virginia-class submarines, traditional periscopes have been supplanted by photonics masts – non-hull-penetrating masts that do not extend physically into the control room. Information is digitally recorded by cameras in the mast, transmitted through fiber optics into the ship and processed with on-board image processors. Each photonics mast has an HDTV digital color camera, an infrared camera and a laser rangefinder.