General Dynamics wins million contract from Northrop Grumman

According to a press release published by General Dynamics Mission Systems on June 2, 2021, the firm announced the award of a multi-million-dollar firm-fixed-price contract from Northrop Grumman to provide Reduced Weight Basic Operating Assembly (RWBOA) containers for U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ships (LCS).
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The U.S. Navy littoral combat ship USS Gabrielle Giffords (LCS-10) transits the Philippine Sea during Exercise Pacific Griffin 2019 on 1 October 2019. (Picture source: U.S. Navy)

The containers, developed specifically for the Navy, will be produced at General Dynamics’ Marion, Virginia facility, with the first delivery expected in December.

RWBOA containers are lighter than standard 20-foot shipping containers but offer the same strength and durability. The containers will be used aboard LCS to house modular mission packages that equip the ship with specific mission capabilities needed to perform mine countermeasures, surface warfare or anti-submarine operations.

“The new containers are extremely lightweight and will provide the Navy with enhanced corrosion protection in comparison to conventional steel container designs. The use of Reduced Weight Basic Operating Assembly containers provides the Navy with the essential flexibility and mobility they need to quickly transport and deploy the capabilities to support their missions while at sea.”

The littoral combat ship (LCS) is a set of two classes of relatively small surface vessels designed for operations near shore by the United States Navy.

The Freedom-class and the Independence-class are the first two LCS variants. Each is slightly smaller than the U.S. Navy's Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate but larger than Cyclone-class patrol ships.

Each has the capabilities of a small assault transport, including a flight deck and hangar for housing two SH-60 or MH-60 Seahawk helicopters, a stern ramp for operating small boats, and the cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility. Standard armaments include Mk 110 57 mm guns and RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles.

They are also equipped with autonomous air, surface, and underwater vehicles. Possessing lower air defense and surface warfare capabilities than destroyers, the LCS concept emphasizes speed, flexible mission modules and a shallow draft.

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