Northrop Grumman deal locked, and potentially loaded

Battle stations: The Littoral Combat Ship U.S.S. Milwaukee will begin testing new cannons produced, in part, by Northrop Grumman's Bethpage unit later this year.

Northrop Grumman’s Long Island unit is breaking out the big guns, thanks to a new multi-year contract with the U.S. Navy.

United States Naval Sea Systems Command has awarded Bethpage-based Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. a $68.8 million contract to produce gun mission modules for the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ships – fast, powerful, forward-deployed combatants designed for “intense naval conflict,” according to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Gun mission modules consist of two 30-millimeter guns and are part of a Littoral Combat Ship’s “surface warfare mission package,” according to the Navy.

Under the contract, Northrop Grumman will provide outfitting assembly installation, interim deport-level maintenance, engineering support and system maintenance for the gun mission modules, with “developmental testing” of the new guns scheduled to begin aboard the U.S.S. Milwaukee later this year.

Operational testing is scheduled for 2018, according to the Department of Defense, with deployment slated for 2019.

Northrop Grumman’s newest Department of Defense contract includes options that could push its cumulative value past $812 million, according to the DoD.

It’s the latest – and, by far, most lucrative – in a series of fresh deals between Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. and the defense department. On March 2, the subsidiary was awarded a $10.9 million contract by U.S. Naval Air Systems Command for engineering work on Advanced Hawkeye aircraft, and on March 11 Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. won a $2.9 million contract from U.S. Air Force Materiel Command for an R&D project regarding ceramic-matrix composite airframes.

Those deals were followed by a $3.6 million contract with Naval Air Systems Command to work on an autonomous-helicopter radar system. That agreement was announced March 16, the same day the DoD announced Northrop Grumman Systems Corp.’s gun mission module contract.

While some of the Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. work on these myriad DoD contracts will be performed in Bethpage, the agreements – particularly the larger gun mission module deal – all involve work at multiple national sites.

Roughly $8 million worth of work on the gun mission modules, at least to start, will be done on Long Island, according to the DoD, while Northrop units in Virginia, Alabama, California, Florida and Syracuse are also expected to contribute.

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