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Bofors Gun For New Coast Guard Cutter (Oct. 1)

LOUISVILLE, KY --- United Defense Industries, Inc. has been awarded a letter contract worth a potential $79 million by Northrop Grumman Ship Systems (NGSS) for production and ship integration engineering support of the EX-57 Mk 3 naval gun for the U.S. Coast Guard’s new National Security Cutter (NSC), a new ship under development as part of the Integrated Deepwater System (IDS) program contract.

“The EX-57 Mk 3 naval gun is a perfect match for the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter and has great potential for future Offshore Patrol Cutter requirements,” said Dave Lassek, Vice President for Navy programs at United Defense. “Clearly, this proven gun system should be the prime candidate in the U.S. Coast Guard Deepwater mission requirements and U.S. Navy for all littoral combat missions.”

The EX-57 Mk 3 naval gun is an intermediate caliber gun designed by Bofors Defence AB of Sweden, a subsidiary of United Defense Industries. Known throughout the world as the Bofors Mk 3/57mm Gun Mount, this family of naval guns is in use in 15 countries worldwide, including the navies of Sweden, Mexico, and Canada.

This versatile gun system is paired with the Bofors Defence family of 3P (Pre-fragmented Programmable Proximity fuzed) ammunition for combating aerial, surface, and ground targets. The 3P ammunition gives the EX-57 Mk 3 increased tactical flexibility and ammunition effects.

Northrop Grumman Ship Systems is a major subcontractor to Integrated Coast Guard Systems, a joint venture of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin, which won the multi-year, multi-billion dollar Deepwater contract in June 2002.

IDS is a critical multi-year, multi-billion dollar program to modernize and replace the Coast Guard’s aging ships and aircraft, and improve command and control and logistics systems. It is expected to be the largest recapitalization effort in the 213-year history of the Coast Guard. Under the initial program baseline plan, eight National Security Cutters will be produced under this program with the first ship entering service in 2006, each of which will be outfitted with EX-57 Mk 3 naval gun.

During 2002, United Defense provided the U.S. Government a Bofors Mk 3/57-mm Gun Mount demonstrator for testing to U.S. Navy standards in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2003, the Government completed a logistics demonstration regarding the operational and maintenance characteristics of the gun, and an engineering assessment of the gun focused on its ability to meet U.S. requirements. Currently, this gun is being moved to the Navy’s test facility in Dahlgren, Virginia, to begin live-fire gun and ammunition tests.

As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Mitch McConnell secured $13.1 million to enable the Navy to test and qualify this gun for the Coast Guard’s Deepwater Program. Senator McConnell’s support for this program should help this important weapon provide a much needed capability for the U.S. Coast Guard, in support of all of the Coast Guard’s vital missions and particularly for emerging requirements in direct support of Homeland Security.

United Defense designs, develops and produces combat vehicles, artillery, naval guns, missile launchers and precision munitions used by the U.S. Department of Defense and allies worldwide, and provides non nuclear ship repair, modernization and conversion to the U.S. Navy and other U.S. Government agencies.

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United Defense Awarded Contract to Provide 57mm Gun for Coast Guard’s New National Security Cutter