Surface Combatants Benefit from Northrop Grumman Research

combatants benefit

Northrop Grumman Corporation's Ship Systems sector reports that it has successfully tested the Low Observable Multifunction Stack (LMS) designed to demonstrate two different advanced exhaust suppresser systems for surface combatants. The exhaust systems, enclosed in a low signature composite structure, also integrate embedded multifunction communication arrays.

"This integrated approach will help provide increased connectivity necessary for modern warfare while avoiding the mass of communications antennas that typically cover the topside of surface combatants," said Richard Schenk, president of Ship Systems' Full Service Center.

Construction of the LMS was completed at the Northrop Grumman Ship Systems Avondale Operations composite facility in Gulfport, Miss., in July 2001. After completing construction, the LMS structure was barged to Ship Systems' Ingalls Operations' East Bank facility in Pascagoula, Miss., for final fit-out, and land-based testing of its Radar Cross Section (RCS). The RCS testing was performed at the Ship Systems Near Field Radar Reflectivity Range (NFR3) facility. "The NFR3 facility was instrumental in demonstrating the performance of the LMS and greatly reduced the potential cost of testing at other East or West Coast facilities," said Ross Buck, engineering project manager and Ship Systems Radar Range Test director.

After RCS testing, the LMS structure was installed on an Ex-Asheville class patrol gunboat for additional testing at-sea near Panama City, Fla. The additional tests included at-sea signature measurements of the LMS and tests of the communication capabilities of the antenna systems embedded within the LMS structure.

The project was sponsored by the Office of Naval Research through its Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) program. Execution management of the project is provided jointly by the Naval Sea Systems Command and the Space and Naval Warfare Command (SPAWAR).

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