17 Nov 2017

Advanced Flank Array for submarines successfully built and tested

The Naval Undersea Warfare Centre (NUWC) has put Northrop Grumman’s new hull-mounted Advanced Flank Array through its paces, following a period of intense testing.

The Advanced Flank Array (AFA) employs innovative and streamlined manufacturing techniques to deliver greater value to the U.S. Navy. To date, Northrop Grumman has invested more than $3M to develop this alternative AFA production line and NUWC has since revealed that the early prototypes meet or exceed the U.S. Navy’s stringent specifications. Now, Northrop Grumman stands ready to roll-out its AFA programme nationwide.

“We’re not just designing systems for today’s fleet, but we are developing solutions with the future in mind – the missions, requirements and applications our submarine force will face over the lifetime of these ships,” said Alan Lytle, Vice President of the Undersea Systems Business Unit at Northrop Grumman.

“We’re proud of our long history of sonar expertise and we will be honoured to continue the legacy of ensuring undersea dominance for the U.S. Navy well into the future while providing affordable improvements for our customers and our nation.”

Currently, Northrop Grumman is the only U.S. manufacturer of outboard flank arrays for Virginia Class submarines. The hope now is that the company’s new approach will drive additional long-term cost benefits and help reduce the element of risk to the U.S. Navy.

“While submarine builders are laser-focused on designing and delivering the world’s best submarines, we stand ready to provide those boats with the world’s best and most advanced hull-mounted sonar systems,” concluded Lytle.

“We are committed to giving our sailors every advantage, and supporting their increasingly complex and varied missions close to home and around the world.”

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