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L-3 KEO photonics masts for Virginia SSNs

28th May 2015 - 16:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


L-3 KEO, the electro-optics business of L-3 Communications, has won a contract to develop the new version of its photonics mast for US Virginia-class submarines, as announced on 26 May.

The $48.7 million contract was awarded by the US Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) as part of the Block 4 Low Profile Photonics Mast (LPPM) programme. Under the contract, L-3 KEO will design and develop the lower-profile mast in the first year of the contract. The NAVSEA can exercise options to have L-3 KEO produce up to 29 masts over a four-year period. The contract also covers engineering services and provisioning item orders, with a maximum value of $157 million.

The non-hull-penetrating LPPM will have a sleek profile that reduces the periscope signature and makes it appear similar to existing periscopes, thereby making it less identifiable as a US navy submarine.

Steve Kantor, president, L-3 Electronic Systems, said: 'We are extremely pleased to collaborate with the US navy on the Block 4 LPPM programme, which will significantly enhance Virginia-class submarines in deployments around the globe.

'This is a great opportunity to build on our long-standing partnership with the navy by delivering sophisticated imaging technologies to a valued customer with well-defined, mission-critical requirements.'

Matthew Richi, president, L-3 KEO, said: 'We are very pleased to have been selected to provide the US navy with a photonics mast that combines the enhanced situational awareness capability it wants with the more stealthy footprint it needs to avoid detection in international waters.

'As the leading submarine imaging provider in the world, we look forward to focusing on the interoperability of our systems to explore export licensing opportunities with international navies.'

L-3 KEO plans to develop the LPPM for the NAVSEA to support new submarines and also retrofit existing ones under a modernisation programme.

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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