General Dynamics sails into Navy warehouse award

General Dynamics won a $4.8 million Navy contract to develop and demonstrate a land-based, automatic warehouse system to be used aboard ships, the company said today.

The Advanced Technical Institute of Charleston, S.C., issued the award through the Office of Naval Research in Arlington, Va., to General Dynamics' armament and technical products business unit.

The automated storage and retrieval system will accept a palletized load from a forklift and automatically identify it through radio-frequency identification. It will verify the load size and weight, then securely stow the load within the hold of a ship.

The storage and retrieval technology allows for automatic inventory and total visibility of all materiel within a ship's hold. The system's design adapts to a wide variety of ships and hold configurations.

General Dynamics will provide systems engineering, performance analysis, design and manufacturing support and ship integration guidance. Siemens Logistics and Assembly Systems Ltd. of Grand Rapids, Mich., as a subcontractor, will oversee the design and production of the system's land-based demonstrator.

San Diego-based subcontractor National Steel and Shipbuilding Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, will provide system-level drawings, requirement analysis support and ship integration analysis. Work on the land-based system is scheduled for completion in February 2006.

This contract award for detailed design and fabrication is the fourth automated storage and retrieval system contract that General Dynamics has won. The defense contractor received the first award for feasibility studies and early conceptual design work in June 2002. The contract's value to date is $6.6 million.

General Dynamics' armament and technical products unit offers system solutions for military applications. Headquartered in Falls Church, Va., General Dynamics provides mission-critical information systems and technologies, combat systems, armaments and munitions, shipbuilding and marine systems and business aviation to federal and commercial clients.

The company employs 70,100 employees worldwide and had 2004 revenue of $19.2 billion. It is No. 5 on Washington Technology's 2005 Top 100 list of prime government contractors.

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