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US takes delivery of Nationwide AIS

Northrop Grumman Corporation reports that it has completed core capability development of the Nationwide Automatic Identification System (AIS) in the US, and delivered it to the US Coast Guard to begin formal government testing prior to deployment.

The Nationwide AIS system aims to provide a comprehensive view of vessels bound for and navigating within US ports and waterways. Northrop Grumman developed the shore-side communications, network and processing capability to facilitate the exchange of the AIS information.

The system will include a network infrastructure that collects, stores, processes and disseminates AIS data, via a two-way maritime digital communication system that queries incoming vessels to check vessel identity, position, speed, course, destination, and manifest and cargo data.

The information will be combined with other government intelligence and surveillance data and shared with authorised government operators to enhance maritime situational awareness.

Prior to the delivery to the Coast Guard, the Nationwide AIS developmental test and evaluation process incorporated test environments and scenarios to examine reliability, maintainability and availability requirements at physical and logical shore installations.

Additional tests were performed with a test environment onboard a test vessel travelling various courses and speeds within inland waterways and offshore out to 50 nautical miles.

“The Coast Guard's goals for enhancing maritime domain awareness include the ability to detect and classify potential threats as early and distant from US interests as possible,” said Pat Camacho, vice president of integrated command, control, communications and intelligence systems for Northrop Grumman Information Systems.

“By monitoring the virtual network created by AIS-equipped vessels, Nationwide AIS will help decision-makers to better respond to safety and security risks.”

Northrop Grumman was awarded the $12 million Nationwide AIS contract in December 2008.

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