Northrop Grumman has shipped a first set of lightweight wide aperture arrays to the U.S. Navy for Block IV of the Virginia class submarine.
The new delivery is the 19th shipset Northrop has supplied for the VCS program and the Navy will use the fiber-optic passive hull mounted sensor array to operate its VCS fleet, the company said Monday.
“The early delivery of this first Block IV LWWAA shipset continues a tradition of 114 consecutive early array deliveries by Northrop Grumman undersea systems in support of the Virginia class submarine program,” said Alan Lytle, vice president of undersea systems at Northrop.
Each shipset contains six arrays that Northrop says are fundamental to the development of next-generation undersea sensors.
Northrop previously completed delivery of LWWAA panels for the USS Virginia, SSN-774.
Delivery of the first Block IV shipments marks the start of 10 shipment deliveries Northrop will conduct twice a year to Huntington Ingalls Industries.
Northrop will also supply the acoustic array assemblies and the hardware needed to install the arrays on the ship’s exterior.