MSS Contract Award Announcement Press Release

14 January 2011:

The Department of the Navy announced Friday the award of a $29 million shipbuilding and support contract to Maritime Security Strategies, LLC, (MSS) of Tampa, Florida. The contract, under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, was awarded for a 43-meter Coastal Security Craft (CSC) for the Lebanese Navy. MSS will work with its primary design agent and shipbuilding partner, RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames, LLC, also of Tampa, to design, produce and outfit the ship.

This ship, the first of its class, represents an important step in improving Lebanon’s ability to monitor and patrol its territorial waters and to contribute to international maritime security efforts in the Eastern Mediterranean. The sale is part of a broader U. S. security assistance initiative associated with implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions to combat terrorism and secure Lebanon’s borders, and to foster a stable and independent Lebanese government. The ship is scheduled for delivery by the end of 2011.

The MSS/RiverHawk team is currently completing hull construction and rigging in of the major engineering systems at VectorWorks Marine facilities in Titusville, Florida. The aluminum decks and superstructure are nearing completion in RiverHawk’s Tampa yard where they will be mated to the epoxy-resin composite hull. Several South Florida sub-contractors will also play significant roles, adding and sustaining around 100 new jobs in the region.

“We are delighted with this announcement and the opportunity to play a role to support US, Lebanese, and international security objectives in the Eastern Med and the CENTCOM AOR,” stated Rear Admiral (US Navy, ret) Robert Cox, MSS’s Managing Partner. “This particular design and the engineering and electronics systems we are incorporating should be ideal for the sorts of missions and tasks that Lebanon and its international partners have to rely on the Lebanese Navy to execute.”

According to Admiral Cox, MSS teamed with RiverHawk Fast Sea Frames because of the advanced design and construction processes and materials offered in its “Advanced Multi-mission Platform (AMP), the basic design for the Lebanese Navy CSC. “MSS and RiverHawk teamed up to provide high quality, cost-effective ships and patrol boats. The primary product line – the ‘AMP’ – incorporates new designs and features that deliver significant cost and performance improvements over the current industry offerings. A key attribute for any Navy or Coast Guard is that the AMP is designed from the keel up to be rapidly and affordably reconfigured depending on the mission required.”

The MSS/RiverHawk AMP Series uses a fast sea frame that can be outfitted as required and reconfigured for mission, threat, and technology changes. In addition to the AMP, MSS/RiverHawk either owns the designs or is licensed to build other patrol craft, off-shore patrol and supply vessels, very high-speed interceptors, fast attack craft, and hydrographic survey vessels. It currently has two 60-meter Offshore Supply/Command Vessels under construction for the Iraqi Navy.

According to Company literature, the basic hull design for the AMP series has been improved to take advantage of performance and cost benefits created by advances in technologies, materials and processes. The composite construction of the hull not only makes this ship extremely rugged, but also very light, and its strength eliminates much of the standard stiffeners and supporting structures that add so much weight to conventional ships. Weight reduction translates directly into greater speed, increased maneuverability and lower fuel consumption (lower cost and better performance). MSS/RiverHawk use epoxy resin (instead of carbon fiber) for the AMP hulls because of its virtual indestructibility and the fact that it is so easy and inexpensive to repair and maintain.

The deck and superstructure are aluminum, which allows topside arrangements to be reconfigured in a modular fashion as mission requirements dictate over the life of the ship.

The Lebanese Navy’s AMP incorporates ITAR compliant state-of-the shelf controls and crew-aiding automation using onboard sensing of watercraft systems such as engines, tanks, environmental sensors, navigational, and weapon's status. It incorporates a non-militarized, passive Integrated Bridge System (IBS) certified according to the ABS-NIBS Guide for Bridge Design and Navigational Equipment/Systems as well as ABS HSNC and SOLAS classification provided by Raytheon Anschutz GmbH, a subsidiary of the Raytheon Company (USA).

The IBS suite includes four wide-screen multifunction workstations for navigation and surveillance, and to provide the functions of Chart Radar, ECDIS and Conning. For route planning tasks, another ECDIS workstation will be installed in the Command and Control/Operations Center to provide both manual and automatic route planning functions. An additional display of ECDIS with radar overlay will be provided to the Captain’s stateroom for situational awareness.

In addition to the navigation systems, the Integrated Bridge System incorporates the ship’s automation system, the CCTV and a FLIR thermal imaging camera. A separate Conning display, apart from all the relevant navigation data, displays selected data from the ship¹s automation system. The C2/Operations Center is fitted with a customized Situational Awareness Display which shares all charts, targets and craft movements with the Integrated Bridge System.

Surface search X and S-band ARPA radars, a full package of navigation sensors, data management software, GMDSS A3 and all other electronics and safety equipments complete the IBS and Command and Surveillance package.

Design Characteristics: