Navy Details Desired Technical Specifications For New LCS, Frigate Over-the-Horizon Missile

Some of the major weapons being considered for this new weapon, which will arm the Littoral Combat Ship and emerging Navy Frigate include a Boeing-built Harpoon, Raytheon-Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile and a Lockheed high-tech Long Range Anti-Ship Missile.

The U.S. Navy wants to arm its littoral combat ships with a missile engineered to meet certain technical specifications regarding its seeker, fire control mechanisms and fuze effects, service officials detailed.

The Navy plans to solicit industry proposals for a new over-the-horizon attack missile able to attack targets at longer ranges and deliver a direct strike in some difficult scenarios, according to a draft Request For Proposal for the ship-launched missile system.

Some of the major weapons being considered for this new weapon, which will arm the Littoral Combat Ship and emerging Navy Frigate include a Boeing-built Harpoon, Raytheon-Kongsberg Naval Strike Missile and a Lockheed high-tech Long Range Anti-Ship Missile.

The draft RFP, outlining some of Navy requirements for the missile, calls for extensive simulations to explore certain desired technical parameters.  

The simulations to include GPS-denied and extended GPS-denied environments; seeker discrimination; seeker aim-point determination; lethality to include specified fuze effects; fire-control launch sequencing; and mission planning software.

To get such an advanced missile, the Navy is willing to make tradeoffs.

“In order to promote full and open competition to the maximum extent practicable, the Navy intends to structure the RFP to allow for flexibility in meeting the missile range and Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP-C) requirements contained in the OTH-WS Top Level Requirements Document (TLRD),” the draft RFP says.

The Navy says, “The intent is to allow the Government to potentially consider an award to an Offeror whose existing OTH-WS does not meet either the missile range or the SWaP-C TLRD requirement. Offerors will have the opportunity to propose improvements to their missile range or SWaP-C to meet the TLRD requirements.

However, in order to be considered for award, the existing system must meet either missile range or SWaP-C requirements (i.e., an existing system that does not meet both the missile range and SWaP-C TLRD requirements will not be eligible for award).”

The Navy wants the winner to “manufacture, assemble, test and deliver fire control systems, each consisting of an operator interface, a means of interfacing to the ship, means of interfacing to the launcher(s), and an engagement planning system, to include a Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System.”

If the contractor’s existing OTH-WS does not meet either the defined range requirements or SWaP-C requirements, “then the contractor shall modify their system to meet all of the requirements listed in the TLRD.

The draft calls for the winner to manufacture, assemble, test and deliver launching mechanisms (LMs) capable of storing and launching four encanistered missiles.

“The LM may consist of one four-celled launcher or two two-celled launchers. Ship sets will range from one to four LMs to provide ships the capability to fire from four to 16 EMs.

The draft also includes provisions for improved LMs.

The draft RFP does cite some specifics for fire-control system components.

“While the step ladder quantities for the Fire Control Suites … indicate a potential maximum ordering quantity of 42, the government expects to procure not more than 40 FCSs across all fiscal years,” the draft says. “While the ‘step ladder quantities; for the encanistered missiles … indicate a potential maximum ordering quantity of 671, the government expects to procure not more than 320 missiles across all fiscal years.”

The proposal includes a provision to order a maximum of 105 test-configured encanistered Missiles (EM-T), the Navy expects to procure not more than 15 EM-Ts across all fiscal years.

For inert operational missiles, the proposal indicates a potential maximum ordering quantity of 56, the Navy expects to procure not more than eight IOMs across all fiscal years.

The actual RFP was expected to be released by the end of January, will now likely be delayed by a week or more, according to industry officials and defense analysts familiar with the program.

Naval Sea Systems Command says it is waiting for the precise date of the RFP release.

The missile system, expected to provide offensive punch for small Navy surface combatants that has been lacking, say admirals in charge of operational forces.

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 ----Michael Fabey is the Scout Warrior Pentagon Correspondent----

     --- Michael Fabey can be reached at fabeyships@aol.com----


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