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Navy to Negotiate Sizable Deal With General Atomics

AEROSPACE: Contract Could Cover 3 Aircraft Carriers, Including French Ship

SAN DIEGO – The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) of the U.S. Navy announced on May 30 that it plans to enter sole source negotiations and subsequently award a contract to General Atomics for next-generation aircraft launch and recovery gear for future Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carriers and a French aircraft carrier.

Under the deal, the Navy plans to buy up to three Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG) shipsets and up to three Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS) shipsets – not including the Energy Storage Subsystem (ESS).

Financial terms of the deal are not yet available.

According to an announcement on the federal government’s SAM.gov website, the equipment would support an as-yet unnamed aircraft carrier with hull number CVN 82, due to be delivered in 2038; a future aircraft carrier for France, also due in 2038; and a second unnamed U.S. aircraft carrier with hull number CVN 83, due to be delivered in 2042, to be procured as an option under the deal.

Supplies and services to be procured include the manufacture, assembly, integration, test, delivery, storage management, installation and checkout parts, and support of EMALS and AAG shipsets certification and the associated overall program management, schedule updates and technical data updates.

This procurement will also include associated configurations changes, primarily obsolescence, engineering (design definition, verification, test and reports); integrated logistics support and updates; and manufacturing and installation of forward-fit solutions.

Provisions will also be provided for retrofit kits, and/or new complete items to support validation testing, associated NRE, validation and verification of technical directives and associated logistics impacts, prototype testing, test plans and reports, computer software, manufacturing acceptance tests and fielding support, and ship-riders provisions for operational support.

Additionally, this procurement will include on board repairs parts, peculiar software equipment, maintainer and operating training courses for the future French carrier, and options for an EMALS at the Navy base at Patuxent River, Maryland; AAG engine backfills for four previous carriers (CVN 78, 79, 80 and 81); bridge buys to support future tech refresh for CVN 82, 83 and the future French carrier; and AAG fourth engine for CVN 82 and 83.

This acquisition is being pursued on a sole source basis as the Navy has determined there is only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements.

The Navy said that General Atomics – as the sole designer, developer and manufacturer of EMALS and AAG – is the only responsible source with the access, unique knowledge, experience, special skills, facilities, manufacturing techniques and technical data required to fulfill the EMALS and AAG production requirements. The Navy said an award to another source would result in duplication of costs and unacceptable delays in fulfilling the agency’s requirements. Further, NAVAIR does not have an adequate technical data package suitable for a competitive procurement of the support required.

Navy Mulls Carrier Sustainment Deal

Separately, the U.S. Navy announced on June 11 that NAVAIR intends to enter sole source negotiations and subsequently award a contract modification to General Atomics for sustainment work on the launch and recovery equipment.

This modification will be for additional level of effort and completion hours for efforts in support of sustainment software, EMALS depot planning, AAG SW stability, electrical isolation tag-out, Load Strobe A, and MWS Permissive. Supplies and services to support these efforts include engineering, configuration management, logistics support, direct technical support and program planning for the In-Service Support phase of the EMALS and AAG systems aboard the Ford-class carriers. The deal is expected to run through Dec. 31, 2027.

The deal was announced on the federal government’s SAM.gov website.

Separately, the Defense Logistics Agency said it awarded the following to General Atomics: a deal worth approximately $155,000 for a water twister encoder, awarded June 17, and a deal worth approximately $271,000 for a housing, piston and wheel, awarded June 14.

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