WASHINGTON — The Navy has awarded a $9.7 million contract modification for the evaluation of new technologies to increase the speed and precision of the LPD-17 Amphibious Transport Ship, according to U.S. Sen. Olympia J. Snowe. The shipyard team of Bath Iron Works and Avondale Industries of New Orleans, La., won the original LPD-17 production contract in December 1996.
“This contract extension to evaluate new automation and radar systems on the LPD-17 confirms BIW’s leading role in meeting the Navy’s warship architecture requirements for the new century,” said Snowe, a member of the Senate Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee. “BIW’s engineering team will now have additional resources to reduce the long-term maintenance costs of the LPD-17 by developing new plans to install state-of-the-art electronics equipment on the ship.”
According to the Navy, the contract modification “will cover … system design concepts with emphasis on reducing maintenance, manning, and radar cross section.” BIW will perform 38 percent of the work in Maine and assign new tasks to a company team of engineers on a temporary assignment at the Avondale facility.
The Navy developed the LPD to carry approximately two Marine Expeditionary Brigades for initial combat assault operations. One brigade consists of 17,000 soldiers. Twelve LPDs planned for full deployment by 2006 will replace 41 older military transport vessels with less than 40 percent of existing crew levels.