Lockheed to help create a paperless British Navy

The London-based unit of Lockheed Martin Corp. won a $49.3 million contract from the British Defense Ministry to implement an electronic chart and navigation system that represents the first step toward a "paperless bridge" throughout the Royal Navy.

Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin said the contract includes system installation and in-service support for the Royal Navy's Warship Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems program.

Lockheed Martin's team, which includes Babcock Design and Technology Ltd., Kelvin Hughes Ltd. and Offshore Systems Ltd., will immediately begin fitting 48 ships and submarines with the system. The first ship is expected to be equipped in mid-2004, with all 48 ships fitted by the end of 2006.

The company said it will use off-the-shelf products that are certified by the International Maritime Organization and used by merchant ships and navies worldwide.

According to Lockheed Martin, electronic charts are replacing traditional paper charts in many of the world's navies because they are ease to use. The new system is expected to provide improved situational awareness on the bridges of ships while reducing reliance on paper documents.

With 2002 revenue of $26.6 billion, Lockheed Martin is ranked No. 1 on Washington Technology's 2003 Top 100 list, which measures federal contracting revenue.

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