Navy contract for automated warehouse to General Dynamics

The Navy has awarded a $4.8 million contract to General Dynamics Corp. for the development and demonstration of a land-based, automated warehouse system to be used aboard ships, the company said.

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., will oversee the design and production of the system's land-based demonstrator as a subcontractor.

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 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.

Roseanne Gerin is a staff writer for Government Computer News' sister publication, Washington Technology.

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