Lockheed Martin Moves Forward with Combat System and Sensor Integration for Constellation-Class Frigate


WASHINGTON – The onboard sensor experts at Lockheed Martin Corp. are moving forward with the initial combat system design aboard the upcoming US Navy Constellation-class frigate (FFG 62) in a $ 7.9 million order announced Monday.

Officials from Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington are asking the Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems segment in Moorestown, New Jersey, for contract options for the integration and testing of combat systems on the future Constellation-class frigate.

The USS Constellation will be the lead ship in the Constellation class of guided missile frigates. Construction on the Constellation is due to begin this year after the final design review and is expected to enter service in 2026. Navy officials plan to purchase 20 ships.

Lockheed Martin designs the combat management system for the new frigates, based on the company’s COMBATSS-21 ship combat management system, which is found aboard Freedom-class littoral combat ships.

Related: Lockheed Martin Pursues Design of New Combat Command and Control System for Future Navy Frigate

COMBATSS-21 is built on a scalable, open-architecture framework using software unrelated to development, according to Lockheed Martin officials. Custom software adapters called border components support sensors, communications, and weapon interfaces, and are designed to accommodate future technology insertions and system upgrades with minimal effect on the core software of the system.[scoresoftware[scoresoftware

Frigates are relatively small, light and fast surface warships that protect powerful capital ships, and provide escort protection and command and control assistance to lightly armed surface warships, as well as ships. commercial or military merchants.

Frigates play a crucial role in keeping naval battle groups together, intact and functional in the face of the enemy. They protect ships from attack by aircraft and submarines and can serve as forward scouts to determine what lies beyond the battle group horizon.

In addition to developing the combat management system for future Navy Constellation-class frigates, Lockheed Martin is also building the Navy’s Aegis combat system for Arleigh Burke-class destroyers and Ticonderoga-class cruisers in its facilities in Moorestown, New Jersey.

Related: The Navy’s New FFG (X) Warship Will Be The Right Size And Armed For The Crucial High Seas Escort Role

Lockheed Martin is now building the Combat Management System for the Navy’s Freedom Class Littoral Combat Ships. Independence-class littoral combat ships, on the other hand, use a combat system developed by Northrop Grumman Corp.

The Lockheed Martin COMBATSS-21 architecture isolates on-board sensors, communications, and weapons from critical command and control system components to avoid significant system bugs and speed software certification.

COMBATSS-21 can run on computer configurations ranging from a commercial processor running a commercial operating system to more distributed configurations, to allow the COMBATSS-21 system to accommodate ships ranging from patrol boats to large-deck vessels, according to Lockheed Martin officials.

The Lockheed Martin COMBATSS-21 combat management system borrows technology from Navy Aegis cruisers and destroyers, as well as the US Coast Guard Deepwater program.

Related: A Once-Proud Class of US Navy Surface Warships is Fading Quickly

The global systems integrator for future Constellation-class frigates is Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin. The new vessel will move 6,700 tons of water, be 496 feet long, 65 feet wide, and draw 26 feet of water. It will be able to sail at more than 26 knots and will have a range of 6,000 nautical miles. The new frigate will have a crew of 140 members.

On-board electronics will include the Lockheed Martin COMBATSS-21 combat management system; AN / SPY-6 (V) 3 (EASR) company aerial surveillance radar; AN / SPS-73 (V) 18 surface search radar; AN / SLQ-61 lightweight towed array sonar; AN / SQS-62 variable depth sonar; AN / SQQ-89F submarine and anti-submarine warfare combat system; and Capacity for Cooperative Engagement (CEC).

The Constellation class frigate will be able to accommodate 32 vertical launch system cells capable of handling RIM-162 ESSM Block 2 and / or RIM-174 Standard ERAM missiles; RIM-66 Standard SM-2 Block 3C; the naval strike missile; RIM-116 rolling cell missile; Canon Mk 110 of 57 millimeters; and machine guns. The vessel will be able to carry an MH-60R Seahawk helicopter and the MQ-8C Firescout unmanned helicopter.

On this order, Lockheed Martin will do the job in Moorestown, NJ; Marinette, Wisconsin; Bath, Maine; and Pascagoula, Mississippi, and is expected to be completed by June 2022. For more information, contact Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems online at www.lockheedmartin.com, Fincantieri Marinette Marine at https://fincantierimarinettemarine.com, or Naval Sea Systems Command at www.navsea.navy.mil.

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