Navy moves ahead on focused-mission ship studies
Six companies are each being awarded a firm-fixed-price U.S. Navy contract worth $500,000 for the performance of focused-mission ship concept studies intended to explore a range of approaches in an overall effort to define future ship requirements. These studies will further refine the Navy's requirements and knowledge of technology options for the proposed Littoral Combat Ship and other future ship classes.
They will each perform a 90-day ship concept study to research innovative concepts for a focused-mission, high-speed ship. These contracts are awarded following a full and open competition, during which eighteen offers were received. The Naval Sea Systems Command, Washington, D.C., is the contracting activity (N00024-03-C-2300, 2301, 2302, 2303, 2304 and 2305 respectively).
Bath Iron Works and Gibbs & Cox have released statements giving more details of their approcahes.
Bath Iron Works, a subsidiary of General Dynamics, says the Focused Mission High-Speed Ship (FMHSS) is an integrated surface combatant capability envisioned to operate in littoral (coastal) areas against terrorist threats, high-speed swarm boats, mines and diesel submarines. It may also be called upon to carry logistics supplies or personnel and equipment for Special Operations Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps. It will incorporate state-of-the-art materials, modular mission packages, and a reconfigurable platform design to provide the Navy with a highly flexible concept for future littoral operations. The mission capability of the FMHSS will play a pivotal role in assuring the access for joint and coalition forces into contested coastal regions around the world. The results of this study will assist the Navy in defining requirements for the rapidly emerging Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) Program. As many as 30 - 60 LCS ships are planned, with construction to begin in 2005. Earlier construction may be required by the Navy in order to accelerate defense against growing worldwide threats and terrorist operations.
Bath Iron Works, will lead a team that includes leading U.S. and international defense contractors. Team members are The Boeing Company; Austal, USA, of Mobile, Alabama; British Aerospace Corporation (BAE); Maritime Applied Physics Corporation; CAE Marine Systems and five other General Dynamics business units.
Gibbs & Cox, Inc. says it has established a team of world class organizations to assist it in the study, including: Donald L. Blount and Associates, Inc.; Marinette Marine Corporation; Fincantieri; Lockheed Martin Corporation; Charters Technical Services, Technomics, and Angle, Inc..