June 6 (UPI) — General Dynamics Land was awarded as $25.6 million contract for the production of MK46 modification 2 gun weapon systems for use on littoral combat ships and San Antonio-class landing platform dock ships.
The contract is for two 30mm MK46 MOD 2 GWSs for the surface warfare mission module on each LCS, the future Robert M. McCool Jr., which designated as LPD-29, and the planned LPD-30, as well as associated spare parts, the Defense Department announced Wednesday.
Sixty percent of the work will be performed at General Dynamics’ Land Systems plant in Sterling Heights, Mich.; 25 percent in Anniston, Ala.; 7 percent in Lima, Ohio; 6 percent in Tallahassee, Fla., and 2 percent in Scranton, Penn. It is expected to be completed by September 2021.
Naval fiscal 2017, 2018, and 2019 shipbuilding and conversion funds, as well as fiscal 2018 and 2019 other procurement, and fiscal 2019 weapons procurement in the full amount of the contract has been obligated at time of award and will not expire at the end of the fiscal year.
The remotely operated system, which was first deployed in 2005, uses a 30mm high-velocity cannon for shipboard self-defense against small, high-speed surface targets, according to the U.S. Navy.
The system utilizes a forward-looking infrared sensor, a low light television camera and a laser rangefinder. The gun can be operated at the gun turret or remotely from the remote operating console in the Combat Information Center.
The MK 46 has a range of 4,400 yards, which can be extended with sub-caliber munitions. It can fire 200 rounds per minute from each of the two magazines.
A landing platform dock, also known as an amphibious warfare ship, embarks, transports and lands elements of a landing force for expeditionary warfare missions. The McCool’s keel was laid down on April 12, with the ship expected for delivery in 2023.
The ship will be a transitional ship between the current San Antonio-class design and future San Antonio-class Flight II vessels. Flight II vessels are intended to replace the current Whidbey Island-class and Harpers Ferry-class dock landing ships. Each Flight II ship costs roughly $1.8 billion to build, according to the Congressional Research Service.
LCS ships are designed for near-shore and open-ocean operation to defeat asymmetric “anti-access” threats such as mines, quiet diesel submarines and fast surface craft.
The Freedom variant of the LCS is built by Lockheed Martin in Marinette, Wis., and the Independence variant is constructed by Austal USA in Mobile, Ala. The procurement cost for each new ship is $523.7 million according to the Congressional Research Service. Fifteen ships are under construction or in pre-production.