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Lockheed awarded $20M to provide services for subs' warfare systems

By Allen Cone
Lockheed awarded $20M to provide services for subs' warfare systems
The USS Columbia, a Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine, is one of several Navy subs that uses the AN/BLQ-10 electronic warfare system. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael H. Lee/U.S. Navy

April 23 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $20 million contract to provide engineering and technical services for the AN/BLQ-10 submarine electronic warfare system.

The contract for the (TI)-20, TI-22 and TI-24 includes the design, development, testing, integration, technology insertion/refreshment and system support of new-construction and in-service submarines, Lockheed announced Monday.

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Work will be performed at the Electronic Warfare Center of Excellence in Syracuse, N.Y., and Manassas, Va.

The AN/BLQ-10 is designed for the three current fast-track Ohio classes: Virginia, Los Angeles and Seawolf. The open architecture platform can accommodate current and future mission needs and technology upgrades, including future Columbia-class ballistic-missile submarines.

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"Lockheed Martin is honored to be selected to provide the next generation electronic warfare system for the U.S. Navy," Joe Ottaviano, electronic warfare program director, rotary and mission systems, said in a press release. "The AN/BLQ-10 system will continue to provide our warfighters with situational awareness and enhanced capabilities that outpace the threat."

Since 2000, Lockheed Martin has provided the U.S. Navy with AN/BLQ-10 systems.

In 2008, the system's first technology insertion added a subsystem to intercept some low-probability-of-intercept radar signals.

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Officials at the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C., wanted Lockheed to modernize the AN/BLQ-10 system, Military & Aerospace reported last August.

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The AN/BLQ-10 processes radar signals through masts and periscopes to detect threats, including counter detection, collision and target locations. Then, crews can rapidly analyze and identify critical signals to determine hostile, neutral or friendly situations.

"Right now, every part of the Navy's fleet has some ability to detect threats," Ottaviano said on Lockheed's website. "But it's often happening in real-time. They see us, we see them, and both sides are trying to figure out what to do. The Navy's goal is to get enough information so ships can detect a threat and respond before the other side even knows we're there."

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