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US Coast Guard awards polar navigation contract

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a service contract for navigation systems and software to support polar ice breakers for the US Coast Guard.

The $5 million, five-year contract covers support for two Coast Guard vessels, the Polar Star and the Healy. These polar ice breakers are used to clear pathways for supply ships and support research missions.

Northrop Grumman notes that it has provided comparable support for the Coast Guard's polar ice breakers since 1999.

The deal will include the supply of hardware configuration management, remote technical support and training classes. Northrop Grumman will also participate in what it calls the maintenance 'grooms' performed on the two ice breakers prior to each polar deployment.

This will include tuning integrated bridge system (IBS) equipment, upgrading autopilots, adjusting tolerances, improving software and replacing parts as needed for maximum system performance.

"For 14 years, Northrop Grumman has provided quality long-term navigation systems and support for the Coast Guard's polar ice breakers," said Bill Hannon, vice president of the company's maritime systems business unit.

"This new support contract, which covers direct installs, field testing and personnel training, will allow us to keep ahead of the navigation and training needs for these critical vessels."

Assembly of the IBS hardware and related equipment will be done in Charlottesville with installs and field testing done directly on the ships. Work has been scheduled to begin during October on the Polar Star and in the summer of 2014 on the Healy.

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