Lockheed Martin's Next-Generation Towed Array Completes Successful Technical Evaluation
WASHINGTON, DC, March 27th, 2002 -- Lockheed Martin's TB-29A towed array recently completed the first phase of its technical evaluation (TECHEVAL), and the U.S. Navy submarine crew described the array as having performed "flawlessly." The towed array was tested on Los-Angeles-class submarines. "We are very pleased with the array's underway performance," said Captain John Mickey, Program Manager for the Submarine Sensor Systems Program (PMS435) at NAVSEA. During the first phase TECHEVAL, conducted in December of 2001, the TB-29A towed array proved that it could be properly deployed and recovered. Also demonstrated was the capability of TB-29A arrays to easily discriminate signals in a cluttered undersea signal environment. Signal measurement ability of the array was also tested. The second phase of the TECHEVAL, which began at the end of January and concluded in early February 2002, examined array performance in water colder than 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The analysis on the second phase is not yet complete, but early reports indicate the array continues to have outstanding performance results in all areas.
Towed arrays are sensors attached by tow cables to surface ships and submarines, enabling them to detect acoustic energy under the oceans' surface. Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics and Surveillance Systems (NE&SS) - Undersea Systems is the prime contractor for the TB-29A program. Under the current development/production contract, it will build 10 more TB-29A towed arrays along with its major subcontractor, L-3 Communications. The first TB-29A arrays will be installed on Los Angeles-class submarines, and later will be used by Seawolf and Virginia-class submarines.
Lockheed Martin received a $31.7 million order for engineering and manufacturing services for the upgraded sonar in December 1998. The U.S. Navy is expected to issue a low-rate initial production contract for several more TB-29As as early as this summer.
"These acoustic arrays will provide the Navy with the best possible detection capability for the foreseeable future," said Frank DeBritz, president, NE&SS-Undersea Systems. "We believe the TB-29A is a significant improvement over previous arrays and, along with producing this array, we will continue to pursue improvements for future introduction."
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems -Undersea Systems serves the U.S. Navy with leading mine countermeasure systems, surface vessel and submarine electronic warfare systems, undersea warfare systems and sensors. NE&SS-Undersea Systems is headquartered in Manassas, Va., and is a unit of Lockheed Martin Corporation. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global enterprise principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems products and services.