A Canadian navy destroyer has completed the first successful sea trials with a new-generation inertial navigation system (INS) and data distribution network supplied by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC).

The Iroquois-class destroyer, HMCS Athabaskan, is the first naval ship to go to sea with the MK 49 ring-laser gyro navigator (RLGN) INS and Navigation Data Distribution System (NavDDS). The systems were developed by Northrop Grumman’s Sperry Marine business unit.

The Sperry Marine MK 49 RLGN provides highly precise real-time 3-D position, heading, speed and attitude reference data for the ship’s navigation and combat systems. The NavDDS is designed to provide a network backbone integrating INS data seamlessly with other sensors and systems throughout the ship.

“The RLGN-NavDDS combination represents a major advancement in the state-of-the art integrated navigation technology on modern warships,” said J. Nolasco DaCunha, vice president of Sperry Marine. “The successful sea trials aboard HMCS Athabaskan provided a clear demonstration of the mission-enhancing capabilities of the MK 49 and NavDDS systems for the Canadian navy.”

“Sperry Marine is under contract with the Canadian navy to supply RLGN and NavDDS systems for 12 Halifax-class frigates, three Iroquois-class destroyers and four Victoria-class submarines,” said DaCunha. “The recently completed ship trials are an important milestone in this program, opening the door to rapid deployment of this breakthrough technology across the remaining Canadian navy surface and submarine platforms.”

Originally commissioned in 1972, HMCS Athabaskan underwent a major update and modernization conversion in the 1990s. The 426-foot (129.9-meter) helicopter-equipped ship is a multi-mission platform with advanced anti-submarine, area air defense and command and control capabilities.

Sperry Marine has supplied more than 80 percent of the RLGN systems currently deployed worldwide. The MK 49 is the standard RLGN for use on NATO ships and submarines.