Lockheed Martin Completes U.S. Coast Guard Ports and Waterways Safety System in New Orleans

Lockheed Martin completed another key milestone for the U.S. Coast Guard's Ports and Waterways Safety System (PAWSS), enhancing safety and surveillance over a 270-mile stretch of the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to the Gulf of Mexico. A ribbon cutting ceremony here recently formalized the Coast Guard's acceptance of a fully operational system, incorporating Automatic Identification System (AIS), for the Lower Mississippi Vessel Traffic Service (VTS).

PAWSS uses radar, AIS, radio communications and closed-circuit television signals -- integrated through a Lockheed Martin-developed marine traffic management command and control system, the MTM200(TM) -- to enable the Coast Guard to provide surveillance of vessels requiring more detailed evaluation before they are permitted to approach shore. Initially designed to support the Coast Guard's maritime safety and environmental protection mission, AIS allows port operators to automatically detect and track vessels anywhere along the coverage area.

"The Coast Guard has been trying with varying degrees of success since 1973 to put a proper VTS in New Orleans and this time we got it right," observed Mike Sollosi, U.S. Coast Guard PAWSS program manager. "You must have the right equipment and the right people operating it. They must be trained to high standards and must be operating in cooperation with professional mariners, and we have all those factors in New Orleans. We have a Lockheed Martin MTM200 system, we have staffed it with highly trained people with in- depth local knowledge, and the pilots in the river are standing the watch together with them."

The Lower Mississippi VTS is prepared to track vessels that are required by U.S. law to be equipped with functioning AIS equipment. These vessels include passenger ships with 150 or more passengers, towing vessels and all commercial vessels greater than 65 feet.

Under the PAWSS integration contract, originally awarded by the Coast Guard in 1998, Lockheed Martin has already supplied nine U.S. ports with VTS systems, including Valdez, AK; Sault Ste. Marie, MI; Berwick Bay, LA; the Ports of Houston and Galveston, TX; Puget Sound in Seattle, WA; Port Arthur, TX; San Francisco, CA; and New York harbor.

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin employs about 130,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture and integration of advanced technology systems, products and services.

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SOURCE: Lockheed Martin

CONTACT: Chip Eschenfelder, Lockheed Martin, +1-315-456-3328, e-mail: