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General Dynamics to deliver anti-submarine mine system Hammerhead Prototype to US Navy.

| 2021

According to a contract published by the United States Department of Defense on September 30, 2021, General Dynamics Mission Systems, Fairfax, Virginia, is awarded a $92,931,647 cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract to design, test and deliver Hammerhead Prototype articles and other related equipment.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 The Mark 54 Lightweight torpedo is the weapon element of Hammerhead underwater mine system. (Picture source U.S. Navy)

The General Dynamics Mission Systems will deliver a prototype of the Hammerhead system meant to detect and engage anti-submarine warfare targets, the Department of Defense said Thursday, September 30, 2021.

The cost-plus-fixed-fee and firm-fixed-price contract, which has a base value of $92.9 million, also provides for articles and equipment associated with the Hammerhead technology.

Nearly half of contract work will be conducted at locations in Massachusetts, with the remaining being done in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Connecticut, Nebraska and Minnesota, through September 2023. Efforts could continue up to September 2026 if all options are exercised.

Hammerhead, also called an "encapsulated effector," is designed to destroy anti-submarine assets. It is designated both a middle-tier acquisition rapid prototyping program and a Navy maritime accelerated acquisition program, according to the statement. Those designations grant the program certain authorities to streamline acquisition.

The new Hammerhead mine is designed to lie in wait on the seabed floor, listening for the telltale signs of enemy submarines. Once a foe passes over, Hammerhead unleashes a homing torpedo that hunts down and destroys the offending sub. Laid in the path of enemy ships, sea mines can slow passage through vital areas or deny transit entirely. Sea mines are also difficult to detect, and the underwater explosions caused by their detonation can cause serious, sometimes fatal damage to a ship’s hull.

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