Gibbs & Cox Inc. is awarded a $29,5 million cost-plus-award-fee and cost-plus-fixed-fee contract for supporting surface combatant ship design and engineering efforts for the U.S. Navy’s future DDG(X).
The contract includes the support of surface combatant ship design and engineering works for the Future Surface Combatant Force of the U.S. Navy, primarily in support of the DDG(X) program, as well as other emerging ship concepts, and to conduct feasibility studies as part of supporting the broader Navy fleet.
This contract also features options that, if exercised, would bring the cumulative value of this contract to $318,742,913. Work will be performed in Gibbs & Cox Arlington, Virginia (50%); and Washington, D.C. (50%), and is expected to be completed by February 2023.
If all options are exercised, work will continue through February 2027. Fiscal 2022 research, development, test, and evaluation (Navy) funds in the amount of $1,335,263 will be obligated at the time of award, and will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
The preliminary draft concept design shows a sharply raked new hull form for the DDG(X) with a bulbous bow that might contain a sonar. No mention of a towed sonar array was included in the graphic at this pre-decisional stage.
Stealth plays a huge role in the DDG(X)’s design with the superstructure angled to deflect incoming radar waves and the mast enshrouded. The ship’s lines are very clean and the superstructure and deck are free of equipment clutter that may contribute to increased radar signatures.
The notional DDG(X) design calls for 14-foot AN/SPY-6(V)1 Aegis radars with the possibility of upgrading to an 18-foot-tall Aegis radar in the future. Two Aegis radars are positioned on the forward and rear superstructure for a total of four arrays for 360-degree radar coverage.
The DDG(X) appears to have a 5-inch gun turret forward and set further back from the bow than the DDG 51. The VLS cell count starts with a 32-cell VLS bank at the bow that can be upgraded to twelve large missile cell launchers in the future for accommodation of Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic missiles or future longer-range missiles that have dimensions larger than the Mark 41 VLS. The exact number of VLS cells so far is undetermined since certain DDG(X)s may be lengthened to accommodate more VLS cells, meaning no two DDG(X)s may be alike.
The tall bridge superstructure can mount Future Planar Arrays (FPA) on the front face that may prove useful for Early Warning, Electronic Countermeasures Warfare (ECM), self-defense, Signals Intelligence (SIGINT) gathering, C5ISR, Anti-UAS, or for controlling UAS. With the FPA and a DPM installed with UAS control consoles, the DDG(X) could hypothetically control more unmanned drones for the U.S. Navy than any other warship in the fleet.
DDG(X)s with an Air Warfare Boss CIC DPM installed can remedy this space issue, and the larger 18-foot AN/SPY-6 Aegis radar arrays and DPMs for more VLS cells in the future can make up for the Ticonderoga cruiser’s Air Warfare Boss role.