Northrop Grumman Gear Elements Enable Fast Combat Support Ship to Operate at Top Speed for the First Time in Three Years


SUNNYVALE, Calif. — During recent sea trials, the USNS Arctic (T-AOE-8) fast combat support ship reached its top speed for the first time in three years because of the remanufactured high-speed gear elements designed and built by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC).

The high-speed gear elements manufactured for the Arctic by another supplier developed cracks, limiting the vessel’s ability to operate at the speeds necessary to keep up with the carrier battle groups it is designed to support. In addition, the gears were plagued with high bearing temperatures and an unreliable instrumentation system. The Military Sealift Command (MSC) solicited a new set of first reduction gear elements through a competitive procurement, and awarded Northrop Grumman a contract in January 2008.

Northrop Grumman designed new high-speed gear elements, more robust and reliable bearings, and a new temperature monitoring system, all of which performed at or above requirements during the recent sea trials. As a result, the Arctic will now be able to return to unrestricted service. The vessel was first commissioned in 1995.

„Designing, manufacturing and installing brand new gear elements to solve performance issues in an existing ship is a tough technical challenge,“ said Glenn Perkins, vice president of Northrop Grumman’s Marine Systems business unit. „By working with the MSC and the Navy, we were able to overcome those challenges successfully, as sea trials proved, and help the Navy re-establish full capability to support the fleet. This success demonstrates Northrop Grumman capability to deliver critical solutions in the surface ship gear market.“

The T-AOE fast combat support ships are designed for rapid logistics support of Navy vessels that are in combat. Their ability to transport heavy supply loads efficiently and quickly requires powerful reduction gears for ship propulsion.

Northrop Grumman has extensive experience in propulsion and power generation, including design and delivery of high-quality naval reduction gears. The company is the current supplier of high-performance reduction gears for the Navy’s submarine fleet, and has provided more than 120 gear sets to the surface fleet over the past three decades.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

CONTACT: Tom Delaney
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
(410) 993-6454
thomas.delaney@ngc.com

Press release
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems