The U.S. Navy has recently awarded $20 million in contracts to L3 KEO for production and support of non-penetrating periscopes (NPPs). Work on the first NPPs will be performed in Bologna, Italy and Northampton, Massachusetts, and is expected to be completed by April 2020.
The NPP is a vital part of the Navy’s Virginia (SSN-774) class submarines, which are expected to remain in steady production well into the next decade at a rate of two per year.
NPP production is also expected to continue for a few notable international clients. Under a $73.8 million order from the Spanish Navy, four NPPs will be produced for the Scorpene S-80 submarine through 2020.
Meanwhile, work on enhanced versions of the NPP is underway. In May 2015, the U.S. Navy awarded L3 KEO a $48.7 million contract under the Block 4 Low-Profile Photonics Mast program to develop and build a new, slimmer version of its photonics mast for use on Virginia class submarines. L3 KEO has to date performed engineering and design work for the lower-profile mast, with options to produce up to 29 photonics masts over a four-year period. Work under this contract should be completed in 2019.