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FLOATING STEEL
Northrop Grumman Advanced Shipboard Electronic Systems to Enter Service on New Offshore Supply Vessels
by Staff Writers
Charlottesville, VA (SPX) Oct 25, 2012


Al Basrah will conduct maritime security operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf alongside previously delivered Iraqi naval patrol boats.

Northrop Grumman has provided the advanced communication, sensor and navigation systems installed on the first of two new offshore support vessels (OSVs) being procured by the U.S. Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on behalf of the Iraqi navy.

NAVSEA accepted delivery of the first 60-meter multipurpose OSV, Al Basrah (OSV 401), in July for subsequent transfer to the Iraqi navy this fall when it will enter service. Its sister vessel, Al Fayhaa (OSV 402), recently completed sea trials and is scheduled for delivery with Al Basrah.

Northrop Grumman was awarded a $7.4 million contract in November 2010 by prime contractor RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames of Tampa, Fla., to provide advanced electronic systems for the two OSVs being built for the Iraqi navy. The company delivered the systems late in 2011 for installation, integration and testing during sea trials.

Al Basrah will conduct maritime security operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf alongside previously delivered Iraqi naval patrol boats.

"These shipboard electronic systems will improve Iraq's ability to provide its own national security," said Bill Hannon, vice president of Northrop Grumman's Maritime Systems business unit.

"By providing a quick-response, affordable, capable solution to RiverHawk, Northrop Grumman demonstrated its ability to deliver integrated navigation and communication solutions along with management and engineering services."

Under the contract Northrop Grumman provided its Integrated Bridge System (IBS) and Integrated Tactical Data Link System (ITDLS) for both vessels, together with communications, maritime situational awareness displays, VisionMaster TotalWatch multifunction workstations, chart radar, electronic chart display and information system, and other electronic systems. The work also included program management, design, procurement, assembly, and shipboard integration and testing.

"The OSVs will play a key role in the new Iraqi Navy. These are complex, multimission ships; it took real teamwork to build in all the quality and capability into these ships, and the partnership with Northrop Grumman has proven critical to that success," said Jake Ross, managing director of RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames.

Northrop Grumman's IBS and ITDLS are in service on 10 35-meter Iraqi patrol boats, which will conduct maritime security operations in the Northern Arabian Gulf alongside the new OSVs.

Two more 35-meter boats are in production, and are expected to deliver in late 2012 and early 2013, respectively. The company has also provided the tactical data link components for the Iraqi Maritime Surveillance System (MSS).

The ITDLS provides for situational awareness and sharing of tactical tracks between the MSS, the 60-meter OSVs and the 35-meter patrol boats to provide the Common Tactical Picture.

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