US Navy awards further $21M to Lockheed Martin for submarine sonar COTS upgrades

The U.S. Navy has awarded Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems a $21.3 million contract modification exercising an option for the production of Acoustic Rapid Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) Insertion (A-RCI) Technical Insertion – 16 (TI-16) systems and pre-cable kits and production support.

The A-RCI concept is is an open-architecture submarine sonar system intended to improve acoustic sensing without changing the sensors.

Improvements in towed array, hull array and sphere array sonars are achieved by upgrading submarine sensor processing.

A-RCI uses legacy sensors and replaces central processors with commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) computer technology and software. Sonar systems for the Virginia class submarine, replacement sonar system retrofitted into Los Angeles, Ohio, and Seawolf class submarines and biannual software upgrades, called Acoustic Processor Builds (APBs), and hardware upgrades, called Technology Insertions (TIs) are all part of the program.

The A-RCI system works by processing data from the submarine’s acoustic arrays along with the submarine’s two towed arrays.