2 November 2016
U.S. Navy undersea warfare experts are renewing their efforts to develop an advanced active countermeasure for defense of U.S. and allied submarine forces against acoustic-homing torpedo attack.
Officials of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington announced plans Tuesday to issue an industry solicitation next month to design, build, and test an acoustic device countermeasure (ADC) called the ADC MK 5. The formal solicitation should be released about 16 Dec. 2016.
This torpedo-defense countermeasure will generate noise to deceive the sonar guidance systems of incoming torpedoes that are homing-in on the sounds the target submarines are making, as well as the acoustic returns of active sonar pings.
The ADC MK 5 project is part of the Navy's Next-Generation Countermeasure (NGCM) program to replace existing ADC MK 3 submarine acoustic countermeasures systems.
The ADC MK 5 is to be a 3-inch-diameter expendable device that submarines launch from external launchers have advanced features that submarines can employ as static or mobile devices with adaptive countermeasure (ACM) technology.
The upcoming ADC MK 5 full and open competitive solicitation is a follow-on to research contracts awarded in late 2010 to Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems in Braintree, Mass., and to the Argon ST subsidiary of the Boeing Co. in Fairfax, Va., to develop the Navy's NGCM anti-torpedo defense system.
Although funding constraints have held up NGCM development, Navy officials appear to be on track to select one company to develop the NGCM ADC MK 5 submarine torpedo countermeasure.
The NGCM ADC MK 5 will have acoustic communication links to connect separate countermeasures devices to enable group behavior to defeat incoming torpedoes. It will be launched in-groups of as many six units -- some of which will act as stationary broadcast jammers, while others will be mobile and function as sophisticated decoys.
The ADC MK 5 countermeasures will have receivers that can operate in full duplex mode, and an acoustic communication link will pass tactical information and updates among the deployed countermeasures, submarines, and surface ships.
The ADC MK 5 will be re-programmable to operate together with U.S. and allied torpedoes or anti-torpedo systems, and will be able to change tactics in response to changing tactical or environmental conditions via the acoustic communication link.
The countermeasures will have advanced tactical embedded processors and a built-in threat torpedo classifier. The system's new technologies will include mobile countermeasure operations and tactics; acoustic communications; group behavior and the ability to work against incoming torpedoes cooperatively; the ability to classify incoming torpedoes; full-duplex receive and transmit sensor capability; and single-crystal transducers.
The solicitation expected next month will be for ADC MK 5 special test units, engineering development models (EDMs), and engineering services. The EDM portion of the contract will include low rate initial production (LRIP) of the advanced torpedo countermeasures.
The NGCM program seeks to insert new countermeasure technologies into the submarine's defense against threat acoustic-homing torpedoes. Companies interested in bidding may email requests for classified ADC MK 5 performance specifications to the Navy's Karen Giunta at Karen.Giunta@navy.mil.