The U.S. Navy has announced its intention to award a contract to Northrop Grumman for the development of Sea Shrike Advanced Payload Module (APM).
The contract will be awarded by the Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) and is for the design, development, production, test, integration, Engineering Services, and Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of the Sea Shrike system in support of Block V Virginia-class fast attack submarines.
The solicitation notice for the contract was published on the Federal contracting website, beta.sam.gov, on March 5.
“The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) intends to award a contract for the Sea Shrike System design, development, production, test, integration, Engineering Services, and Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) for VIRGINIA BLK V submarines to NORTHROP GRUMMAN SYSTEMS CORPORATION [NGSC] in Sunnyvale, CA using other than full and open competition pursuant to 10 U.S.C. 2304 (c)(1) and as implemented by Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) 6.302-1”, said the notice.
The Sea Shrike Advanced Payload Module (APM) will be integrated into the Virginia Payload Module (VPM) of the Block V Virginia-class submarines.
The VPM extends the length of the Block V submarines over previous versions of the Virginia-class by adding an additional 70-foot (21 m) mid-body section with four large diameter payload tubes. Each payload tube was originally designed to store and launch up to seven TLAM (Tomahawk Land Attack Missile) land-attack cruise missiles (LACMs).
Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS)
According to a report on Jane’s, the new Sea Shrike payload module is to enable the integration of an undisclosed weapon, likely the Navy’s future Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic missile. The CPS will be a sea-launched boost-glide hypersonic system and consists of a rocket booster and a hypersonic glide warhead.
The glide vehicle of CPS will be based on the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB) that was also developed for U.S. Army’s ground-launched Long Range Hypersonic Weapon (LRHW) and U.S. Air Force’s now-canceled air-launched Hypersonic Conventional Strike Weapon (HCSW).
Sea Shrike Advanced Payload Module (APM)
The Sea Shrike System consists of the Advanced Payload Module (APM) Modification Kit, Capsule Launch System (CLS), and the All-Up Round (AUR).
Under the to-be-awarded contract, NGSC will provide systems engineering to design, develop, test, qualify, fabricate, and deliver the APM Modification Kit, CLS, AUR, any required special tooling or handling gear, Integrated Logistics Support (ILS), as well as support integration onto the platform. Additional responsibilities include prime system integrator, coordination and management of the integrated test program, managing the program Integrated Master Schedule (IMS), associated engineering services to update and maintain the APM Modification Kit, CLS, and AUR Technical Data Packages (TDP), and to provide technical data for the follow-on configuration changes.
According to the solicitation notice, NGSC is the original designer of the APM being developed on an adjacent submarine payload program.
The notice added that the APM Modification Kit, CLS, and AUR design to be developed by NGSC is necessary “to integrate into the Virginia Payload Module large diameter payload tubes and interface with the shipboard Payload Control System (PCS) and host ship hull mechanical and electrical interfaces”.
The contract for the Sea Shrike effort, which will cover FY2021-FY2028 requirements, is anticipated in February 2021.