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NAVSEA intends to award AS(X) submarine tender design development to NASSCO

NASSCO is in line to build a new class of AS(X) submarine tenders to replace ships such as USS Emory S Land pictured here. (Richard Scott/NAVYPIX)

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) on 8 May advised its intention to award General Dynamics National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) a sole-source contract estimated at up to USD100 million for the AS(X) Submarine Tender Recapitalization Program design development. This is seen as the lead-in to a full detailed design and construction (DD&C) contract for the first AS(X) ship.

NASSCO has emerged as the sole acknowledged bidder for DD&C work on the AS(X).

A fleet of three AS(X)-class ships is planned to replace the USN's two ageing Emory S Land-class submarine tenders, both of which were commissioned in 1979.

NAVSEA in April 2022 awarded AS(X) concept refinement and preliminary design contracts to L3Harris Technologies, General Dynamics NASSCO, and HII under full and open competition. Under these awards, all three companies developed an AS(X) ship specification, interface specifications, ship cost estimates, and ship construction schedules to inform NAVSEA's follow-on acquisition effort.

Janes understands that L3Harris and HII have both decided against bidding for the follow-on DD&C phase, effectively collapsing the competition and leaving San Diego-based NASSCO as the only viable source. “NASSCO possesses the critical capability and experience in design and construction using commercially based practices common for auxiliary, sealift, fleet support, combat logistics, and special mission ships for the US Navy,” NAVSEA said in its 8 May pre-solicitation notice. “The proposed contract action is for supplies for which the government intends to solicit and negotiate with only one responsible source.”

In a statement, HII told Janes

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