Gibbs & Cox, awarded contract by U.S. Navy for Surface Combatant Ship Design Engineering

(Reston, Va.) March 3, 2022 – Gibbs & Cox, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos has been awarded a contract to provide Surface Combatant Ship Design Engineering Services in support of Future Surface Combatant Programs by the U.S. Navy. The award has a potential value of $318,742,913 with performance through 2027, if all options are exercised.

The Gibbs & Cox team will provide services supporting future surface combatants design, with initial focus on the Program Executive Office Ship’s DDG(X) Program Office (PMS 460) industry engagement, DDG(X) design development, and technology integration efforts.

“As a key member of the original DDG 51 class design team, we are proud to continue our legacy of support to this cornerstone of the U.S. Navy’s capability,” said Gibbs & Cox chief operating officer Ray Sheldon.

About Gibbs & Cox

Gibbs & Cox, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, is an industry leading naval architecture and marine engineering firm headquartered in Arlington, VA. Since our founding in 1929, 24 classes of combatants and nearly 7,000 vessels have been built to Gibbs & Cox designs. We proudly support military and commercial clients in the U.S. and internationally with all phases of marine design, construction, and lifecycle management. Our passion is solving our customers’ 21st century maritime challenges with quality and integrity.

About Leidos

Leidos is a Fortune 500® technology, engineering, and science solutions and services leader working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in the defense, intelligence, civil, and health markets. The company’s 43,000 employees support vital missions for government and commercial customers. Headquartered in Reston, Va., Leidos reported annual revenues of approximately $13.7 billion for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2021. For more information, visit


Statements in this announcement, other than historical data and information, constitute forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause our actual results, performance, achievements, or industry results to be very different from the results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to, the risk factors set forth in the company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2021, and other such filings that Leidos makes with the SEC from time to time. Due to such uncertainties and risks, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof.

Gibbs & Cox takes on CVN 78 USS Gerald R. Ford Shock Trials

This past summer, after nearly two years of planning, budgeting, and extensive collaboration, a team of Gibbs & Cox engineers traveled to Norfolk, Virginia, and Jacksonville (JAX) Range Complex for several months to support the Full Ship Shock Trials (FSST) of the nuclear aircraft carrier, CVN 78 USS Gerald R. Ford (GRF) in support of Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD).

The trial consisted of three shots, executed in summer 2021. On each potential shot day, the deciding stakeholders would gather to make the final call on execution. This “GO/NO GO” decision was based on ship readiness along with numerous environmental factors such as wave and swell height, wind speeds, cloud coverage, etc. The location of nearby mammals was also monitored and tracked up until the final countdown to ensure no injuries.

Gibbs & Cox, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, supported the event as the Mechanical, Hull, and Damage Control Leads. In these roles, the team spent months coordinating the system’s In-Service Engineering Agents (ISEAs), working to prepare system evaluation procedures to be executed prior to, between shot, and after all of shock trials. During the trial, our team worked with their respective ISEA riders and ship’s force counterparts to ensure the execution and documentation of all procedures.

They also aided in any troubleshooting, mitigation, and/or remedies required as they arose.

Our team also acted as the shock trial card investigators. Immediately after each shot, damage control responders conducted a rapid investigation, looking for any signs of floods or fires and quickly restoring any systems that went offline. Once the ship was secured from general quarters, the remaining crew and civilian riders performed a scrutinous assessment of the integrity of the ship and its systems. These assessments took place over the next four to five days at sea and continued when the ship returned to port. Any deficiencies identified, from leaking pipe fittings to sheared bolts,

and equipment failing to operate (where these items were satisfactory prior to the shot[s]), were recorded as formal shock trial cards (STC) and later translated into a digital database called ETC.

The STC investigators gathered the high priority deficiencies and inspected them to determine exactly how the discrepancies occurred and to make recommendations on how to reconfigure the installation or design to avoid repeat failure in a real damage scenario. The STC investigator team also participated in discussions on the Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical STCs during the daily shock assessment meeting.

Under the Hull System cognizance, the team also orchestrated a full ship structural shock inspection with 12 participants from varying organization prior to the event, selecting priority items to investigate after each shot while out at sea. An identical full ship structural inspection was performed after shock trials for comparative purposes.

After the final blast, CVN 78 returned to port, before transiting to Newport News Shipyard for a six month Planned Incremental Availability (PIA) period. The Gibbs & Cox Team remained onsite in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia for two weeks to complete the post-trial system evaluations and full ship structural inspection. For the next year, the Gibbs & Cox team will continue to support in the preparation and finalization of the official Shock Trial Report.

In the tragic events of World War II, a significant number of vessels and the lives aboard were lost as a result of near-hit misses. The underwater explosions (referred to as UNDEX) were incapacitating, causing catastrophic degradation to complete failures of the ship hull’s watertight and structural integrity because of the fragmentation and blast. In the early 1950s, the U.S. Navy Shock Program was implemented, exercising the importance of Underwater explosion (UNDEX) shock threats in the design, construction, install and test phases of both surface and submarine ships. In addition to the extensive efforts exhausted on shock design criteria for the overall hull and individual vital system components, one of the more important results of this program was to implement a full-scale live-fire shock trial test event shock trials consist of three explosions, ranging between 10,000 and 40,000 lbs. of charge, which are sequentially brought closer to the hull of the test ship. The objective of the trial was to capture the survivability of the

vessel and the maintainability of mission critical capabilities for its systems. For the GRF, the focus of the mission critical systems included the Aircraft Weapons Elevators (AWE), Electromagnetic Aircraft Launching System (EMALS), and the Advanced Arresting Gear (AAG).

Gibbs & Cox has participated in the U.S. Navy’s Shock Program for decades, ensuring shock hardness is maintained during each phase of a ship’s lifecycle from concept design to sustainment and overhaul. A dedicated group of shock engineers work in Gibbs & Cox’s Survivability Department and provide subject matter expertise to shipyards, program offices, and manufacturers. Specifically, in addition to the CVN 78 FSST, Gibbs & Cox has significantly supported many shock trials. Working to improve the survivability of U.S. Navy ships so as to minimize the effects of shock is a job which has elicited a great deal of pride at Gibbs & Cox.

Gibbs & Cox Provides Advanced Marine Autonomy Solutions

Earlier this year, the U.S. Navy released the “Unmanned Campaign Framework,” in which Secretary of the Navy Thomas Harker says, “to compete and win in an era of great power competition, the Department [of the Navy] is committed to investing in advanced autonomy, robust networks, and unmanned systems to create true integrated human-machine teaming that is ubiquitous across the fleet.” Gibbs & Cox is also committed to investing in advanced autonomy, and we have built up our specialized marine autonomy department since its establishment in 2018 in anticipation of the Navy is increasing need for unmanned vessels and artificial intelligence (AI). Our expert team of robotics and unmanned system specialists has been instrumental in our ability to provide the U.S. Navy with cutting-edge technology and service. Although we only formally established our marine autonomy group in 2018, we began implementing autonomy technology in 1955 with the U.S. Navy Sea Legs project. Sea Legs was the first vessel to successfully use actively controllable submerged-foil hydrofoils. Pitch, roll, and attitude of the boat in flight were controlled electronically by an autopilot stabilizing system. We have advanced significantly since 1955 and are proud to offer a range of marine autonomy services to help the Navy adapt to an increasingly complex security environment.

Providing the Right Marine Autonomy Tools for a Successful Mission

Marine Autonomy at Gibbs Cox

Successful unmanned system (UMS) deployment depends on a vessel’s ability to monitor, predict, and diagnose performance degradations and failures in an Hull, Mechanical & Electrical

(HM&E) system of systems while underway, and then optimize the usage of available resources. G&C offers a Modular Open System Architecture (MOSA) approach, which expands upon Unmanned Maritime Autonomy Architecture (UMAA), to provide the interface specifications needed to confidently code, deploy, and win. We envision integrating with a broader Condition-Based Maintenance Plus (CBM+) paradigm in the future to provide just-in-time system maintenance during port visits.

Partnering with the Best in Marine Autonomy

Gibbs & Cox understands autonomy and the challenges that accompany it, and this understanding allows us to collaborate with the right teammates to develop successful, reliable unmanned and autonomous vessels for our clients. We team with industry leaders in Hull, Mechanical & Electrical (HM&E) system design, reliability, and AI, as well as reputable shipyards, to develop and field Unmanned Maritime Vehicles that will operate for long durations without human intervention. These partnerships allow us to cultivate innovative marine autonomy solutions that will drive the future of the US Navy fleet.

Learn More About Our Marine Autonomy!

How Gibbs & Cox Marine Engineers Connect with Partners and Clients

Gibbs & Cox naval architects and marine engineers are dedicated to providing exceptional and comprehensive service to all of our customers. Whether it is a virtual or in-person event, it is crucial for us to meet with our customers and learn about their evolving needs so that we can tailor our marine engineering process and services to better serve them. One way that we do this is through trade shows. Trade shows provide us with the opportunity to meet with our customers from across the globe to discuss emerging trends in the maritime environment, develop relationships with other experts from our industry, meet new potential partners and clients, explore new ideas, and learn about revolutionary concepts.

The Benefits of Attending Trade Shows

Trade shows are beneficial because they provide an engaging, interactive environment where our customers can learn about Gibbs & Cox’s unique capabilities, ask questions, and see our display. The maritime environment is constantly evolving, and G&C continuously improves our capabilities and services to remain on the cutting edge of technology. Trade shows provide us with the opportunity to highlight new technology and services. G&C recently exhibited at the Sea Air SpMarine Engineering Firm Gibbs Cox at Trade Showace trade show, where we debuted our newly combined capabilities since our acquisition by Leidos. Attendees were able to come by our booth and meet a variety of our experienced marine engineers and naval architects, as well as many of our leadership, and learn about how we combined G&C ship and USV capabilities with Leidos undersea sensors and UUV capabilities to bring our customers full domain solutions throughout the maritime environment.

Meet our Marine Engineers at Upcoming Events

Come meet us in-person at the following upcoming tradeshows and learn more about our marine engineering services!
Shock & Vibration Symposium (Sept. 19-23)
Society of Women Engineers (Oct. 21-23) – Visit us online and in person!
International Workboat Show (Dec. 1-3)
34th Surface Navy Association National Symposium (Jan. 11-13)

Learn More About Our Marine Engineering Capabilities!

Gibbs & Cox Provides Quality Naval Architecture Services to International Clients

Since our earliest years, Gibbs & Cox, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, has provided our international clients with innovative naval architecture support for both naval and commercial applications. Our long-standing history and experience draw from the fact that many of our designs have lived productive second lives after being transferred to and upgraded for international navies.

Gibbs & Cox is routinely asked to participate in foreign military sales programs that involve ship assessments, followed by developing tailored design upgrades and modifications, to increase mission capabilities and extend their service life.

Proven Naval Architecture Results for Successful International Projects

Our naval architecture and marine engineering expertise have been sought out by navies and shipyards from countries across the world to assist in early-stage studies, design and contract development, and detailed design and production projects that include both new and conversion efforts. Over the last few decades, several notable Gibbs & Cox designs, such as the FFG-7 (Oliver Hazard Perry Class) and the Littoral Combat Ship (Freedom Class) have been used as successful parent designs for international clients.

Our history of solving technical challenges extends beyond international naval programs and expands into commercial projects as well. Our naval architects have also designed recreational vessels, high-performing luxury motor yachts, and pilot boats for numerous international clients.

Our Expanding International Presence

SEA 1180

We opened Gibbs & Cox Australia in response to our expanding international relationships and our desire to provide on-site support. Headquartered in Canberra, Act, Gibbs & Cox Australia is conveniently collocated with our primary in-country government customer, the Commonwealth of Australia’s Capability Acquisition & Sustainment Group. We closely assist the Royal Australian Navy and the Canadian Navy and Coast Guard with several programs as they work to develop their fleets for the 21st century, which include the SEA 1180, SEA 5000, and SEA 1000.

Our Gibbs & Cox staff are conveniently located around the world in order to provide technical support on the latest naval and commercial developments. Several other nations we support and often provide a local presence to include, but are not limited to: Egypt, Taiwan, the Philippines, Greece, Japan, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.

Learn More About Our Naval Architecture Services

The Gibbs & Cox Approach to Developing Autonomous and Unmanned Ship Designs our Clients Can Trust

Meeting the needs of our clients and ensuring they receive the highest quality products are our top priorities. In order to provide the highest quality unmanned ship designs and autonomous systems, we partner with innovative, cross-domain Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution providers and reliable, proven shipyards who are our clients can trust.

From initial concept to sustainment and final design, Gibbs & Cox, a wholly owned subsidiary of Leidos, leverages decades of cutting-edge naval architecture with industry leading marine engineering original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to provide our clients with a product they can rely on.

Our customers benefit from our:Unmanned ship designs

  • 90+ years of successful military, commercial, and recreational ship designs.
  • Unmanned Maritime Autonomy Architecture (UMAA) ecosystem.
  • Plug-and-Play technology which prevents AI vendor lock.
  • CYBERSAFE system boundaries and hardened Information Technology and Operational Technology (IT/OT).

How We Apply Marine Autonomy to Complex Situations

When an unmanned ship is expected to perform more than a transit mission between point A and point B, autonomy becomes a much more complex problem. An unmanned military ship is expected to perform the same self-navigation and control functions as an unmanned commercial ship but must also factor in the additional requirements of performing complex mission evolutions in hostile environments. Technical challenges in advancing USV technology include maneuverability, self-maintenance, communication, and cooperative employment of multiple USVs working tougher autonomy. Gibbs & Cox is committed to solving these challenges and advancing the potential of unmanned ship design.

Our Approach to Hull, Mechanical & Electrical (HM&E) Autonomy Integration

To achieve designs capable of long duration missions without human intervention, we collaborate with industry and R&D leaders in HM&E system design. These collaborations provide the necessary reliability and Artificial Intelligence to develop unmanned ships that can monitor, predict, and diagnose performance declines and failures, and then self-adjust its use of available resources to continue meeting ongoing mission requirements.

Below are several features that are key to the integration of HM&E Autonomy Systems. G&C is an experienced provider of each service:

  • Smart actuators (e.g. motorized valves)
  • Four-part Intelligent Fault Management System
  • Prognosis
  • Diagnosis
  • Active learning
  • Reconfiguration

Learn More About Our Approach to Autonomous and Unmanned Ship Designs