Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a contract from the U.S. Army’s Lower Tier Program Office (LTPO) to perform risk reduction for radar technology and associated mission capabilities intended to replace the Army’s 50-year-old Patriot radars.
LTAMDS will be the Army’s first net centric radar to be added to the Army’s Integrated Air and Missile Defense enterprise controlled by the Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System (IBCS), which Northrop Grumman also develops. IBCS is the advanced command and control system that integrates air and missile defense sensors and weapons, including Patriot, to generate a real-time comprehensive threat picture and enable any-sensor, best-shooter operations.
Northrop Grumman’s next-generation sensors will potentially benefit from decades-long experience in delivering rapidly deployable ground based radars, such as the high performance AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR active electronically scanned array production radar to the United States Marine Corps. G/ATOR capabilities include comprehensive, real-time, 360-degree multi-threat detection and tracking.
«We are excited about this award and the overall mission capabilities we can provide the Army», said Roshan Roeder, vice president, global ground based radars, Northrop Grumman. «We have more than forty years of experience in providing proven surveillance and threat engagement capabilities to more than 35 global customers».
Northrop Grumman Corp. delivered the first operational MQ-4C Triton aircraft to the U.S. Navy facility at Point Mugu, providing the service with unparalleled endurance and 360-degree coverage that allows for a vastly expanded maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission.
«This aircraft represents the beginning of a new era for Naval aviation», said Doug Shaffer, vice president, Triton programs, Northrop Grumman. «Triton is a high-altitude, long-endurance unmanned system that delivers a critical autonomous capability to the Navy, expanding the service’s maritime patrol mission. We are proud to be a part of this historic program».
Northrop Grumman is expected to deliver the second operational Triton aircraft later this year. Naval Base Ventura County Point Mugu is home to the maintenance detachment of Unmanned Patrol Squadron (VUP)19. Maintainers will prepare the first two operational Triton aircraft for its employment to Guam, scheduled next year. VUP-19, the U.S. Navy’s first unmanned patrol squadron, is based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville, Florida. Pilots and operators will fly the unmanned Triton aircraft from NAS Jacksonville.
The Navy has announced plans to deploy Triton to NAS Mayport, Florida, NAS Sigonella, Italy and the Middle East in the future.
Flying upwards of 55,000 feet/16,764 meters for up to 24 hours at a time, Triton provides unprecedented, persistent 360-degree maritime domain awareness through vessel detection, classification and tracking. Triton aircraft can combine to fly an orbit, with one plane on station and another en route, providing the U.S. Navy with near-constant coverage of huge swaths of ocean and littorals. The program of record ultimately calls for Northrop Grumman to deliver 68 aircraft to the U.S. Navy.
Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System provides real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance over vast ocean and coastal regions. Supporting missions up to 24 hours, the high-altitude UAS is equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings at a radius of over 2,000 NM/2,302 miles/3,704 km.
Triton builds on elements of the Global Hawk UAS while incorporating reinforcements to the airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The current sensor suite allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification.
Built to support the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program, Triton will support a wide range of intelligence gathering and reconnaissance missions, maritime patrol and search and rescue. The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be built.
Provides persistent maritime ISR at a mission radius of 2,000 NM/2,302 miles/3,704 km; 24 hours/7 days per week with 80% Effective Time On Station (ETOS)
Land-based air vehicle and sensor command and control
Afloat Level II payload sensor data via line-of-sight
Dual redundant flight controls and surfaces
51,000-hour airframe life
Due Regard Radar for safe separation
Anti/de-ice, bird strike, and lightning protection
Communications bandwidth management
Commercial off-the-shelf open architecture mission control system
Net-ready interoperability solution
Payload (360-degree Field of Regard)
Multi-Function Active Sensor Active Electronically Steered Array (MFAS AESA) radar:
Maritime and air-to-ground modes;
Long-range detection and classification of targets.
MTS-B multi-spectral targeting system:
High resolution at multiple field-of-views;
Full motion video.
AN/ZLQ-1 Electronic Support Measures:
Specific Emitter Identification.
Automatic Identification System:
Provides information received from VHF broadcasts on maritime vessel movements.
Northrop Grumman Corporation, which designed NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope’s (JWST) optics, spacecraft bus, and sunshield for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, has deployed the sunshield subsystem and fully tensioned the five sunshield layers for the first time.
«The first tensioning of the sunshield is a monumental and exciting moment, not only for the program but for the collaborative JWST team», said Scott Willoughby, vice president and program manager, James Webb Space Telescope, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems «The innovative sunshield is an industry first, and will protect Webb’s optics from heat, making it possible to gather images of the formation of the first stars and galaxies more than 13.5 billion years ago».
In space, the sunshield subsystem divides the JWST observatory into a warm sun-facing side and a cold space-facing side comprised of the optics and scientific instruments. The sunshield subsystem, which includes the structure and mechanisms required for deploying the five-layer subsystem, was designed, manufactured and assembled by Northrop Grumman, with the five membrane layers manufactured by the NeXolve Corporation in Huntsville, Alabama.
The flight membranes will be folded, stowed and tensioned again two additional times for testing. The folding and stowing method is how the membranes will be folded and stowed for launch. The sunshield layers, known for being the size of a tennis court, will protect and prevent the background heat from the Sun, Earth and Moon from interfering with JWST’s infrared sensors.
The sunshield layers, each as thin as a human hair, work together to reduce the temperatures between the hot and cold sides of the observatory by approximately 570 degrees Fahrenheit. Moving from the sun-facing layer to the one closest to the telescope, each successive layer of the sunshield, which is made of Kapton, is cooler than the one below. The sunshield, along with the rest of the spacecraft, will fold origami-style into an Ariane 5 rocket.
The James Webb Space Telescope, the scientific complement to NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, will be the premier space observatory of the next decade. Webb is an international project led by NASA with its partners, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s subsidiary Remotec Inc. is unveiling the newest member of the Andros line of proven Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs), the Interoperability Profile (IOP)-compliant Nomad.
IOP is a U.S. Department of Defense initiative to organize and maintain interoperability standards for UGVs. With IOP-compliant software messaging and hardware interfaces, Nomad can easily integrate the best available capabilities, sensors and payloads for multiple functions and missions.
«Building on our 30-year heritage, Nomad represents another exciting chapter of Andros innovation, performance and value in render-safe operations», said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems division, Northrop Grumman. «Future upgrades can be spiraled via IOP compliance and its next-generation track pods allow Nomad to go where others cannot. We continue to improve affordability. Over the past few months, working with supply chain, advanced materials and manufacturing availability, we have cut even more costs to make the Nomad available to a greater range of users», said Verwiel.
Nomad was designed using a proven concurrent engineering process to develop a superior product at an affordable price. Like other robots in the Northrop Grumman Andros fleet, Nomad incorporates the feedback from decades working with first responder and military customers to offer advanced technology, ease of use and reliability.
The mid-size Nomad weighs 164 pounds/74.4 kg and measures 35.5 inches/90.2 cm long, 23 inches/58.4 cm wide and 26 inches/66 cm high when its mast is horizontal or 42 inches/106.7 cm high when the mast is fully vertical. Nomad’s manipulator arm has a lift capacity of 15 pounds/6.8 kg when fully extended and impressive dexterity through extensive shoulder pitch, shoulder rotation, elbow pitch and wrist roll abilities. Its four independent track pods provide extreme mobility with stability climbing uneven terrain, complex obstacles and inclines as steep as 60 degrees.
Northrop Grumman is the largest provider of ground robots to the first responder market in the U.S. In addition, the company’s UGVs are fielded across all U.S. military services and bomb squads in 36 countries.
With more than 75 years of experience in advanced autonomy, Northrop Grumman’s autonomous systems expand the boundaries of human potential to deliver end-to-end solutions that meet evolving mission requirements for a rapidly changing world.
The industry-funded Low Cost Terminal (LCT) was successfully tested this month with an on-orbit Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite. This critical milestone demonstrates the ability of an affordable tactical terminal to connect with the Department of Defense’s (DoD) most highly assured protected communications network. The industry development team is led by Northrop Grumman Corporation and Lockheed Martin.
The AEHF system, designed for both strategic and tactical users, enables military users around the globe to securely transmit critical information which includes everything from nuclear command and control to real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. The AEHF system is already on orbit, and can potentially support many more users than there are terminals available today. LCT can enable more tactical warfighters to be able to use protected satellite communications, so they can have assured connectivity in contested environments.
«This is a huge milestone for protected satellite communications and its military users», said Cyrus Dhalla, vice president of communications systems, Northrop Grumman. «LCT achieves low cost by leveraging existing designs, technology, and investments, while adopting a commercial procurement and production model. It was designed for easy operation and low maintenance and training costs to make it truly affordable for tactical users needing highly protected anti-jam, low probability of detection communications».
This is the first time that a completely industry-funded and developed terminal has been allowed to access the AEHF satellite. In order to reach this milestone, the security architecture had to be validated by the appropriate organizations, and additional approvals had to come from United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) and Air Force Space Command (AFSPC).
«The ability to send sensitive information over a protected network that is resistant to interruption and anti-jam is critical to ensuring the safety and success of our military troops here at home and allies abroad», said Iris Bombelyn, vice president, Protected Communications, Lockheed Martin Space Systems. «The successful over-the-air test of the Low Cost Terminal shows that we are ready to bring this capability to more users in the near-term».
The LCT is currently being developed in three variants: airborne, ground comm-on-the-move and rapidly deployable fixed terminal designs, which can also be deployed for maritime applications. Each variant is significantly smaller in size and weight than fully-capable strategic terminals, making them a better fit for tactical applications, while offering major cost and ease of use. The Industry team is seeking government partners to help champion the final production-version LCT for government certification. Provided testing and certifications are completed in time, the terminals can be available by the end of 2018. No other option for fielding protected Satellite Communications (SATCOM) for the tactical warfighter is possible in the next few years.
The LCT takes advantage of Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin system knowledge and engineering experience gained over 30 years as providers of the nation’s Military Strategic and Tactical Relay (MILSTAR) and AEHF satellite systems for protected military communications. They manage a team which combines commercial and military experience, small and large businesses, which has resulted in the innovations necessary to produce an LCT that will cost a small fraction of the cost of current generation terminals.
The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a contract to upgrade existing radio terminals aboard the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) fleet and replace them with Air Force Tactical Receive System-Ruggedized (AFTRS-R) terminals. AFTRS-R assures capability for the Joint STARS fleet and those interacting with the weapon system to receive intelligence reports, including threat warnings in hostile environments, ensuring undiminished battle management in support of warfighters in the air, on the ground and at sea.
AFTRS-R provides data feeds from airborne and overhead electronics intelligence collectors and allows Joint STARS to detect and track a host of mobile threats, including enemy air defense and theater ballistic missile assets. The AFTRS-R capability will modernize the Integrated Broadcast Service by replacing the current Commander’s Tactical Terminal/Hybrid-Receive Only (CTT/H-R) radio. The modification also addresses cryptographic modernization and diminishing manufacturing source (DMS) issues with the CTT/H-R radio.
«One of the benefits of our 32-year partnership with the United States Air Force on Joint STARS is that we have an in-depth understanding of the E-8C fleet and its mission in support of combatant commanders globally», said Bryan Lima, director, manned Command, Control & Intelligence plus Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C2ISR) programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. «The AFTRS-R modification is another demonstration of our joint commitment to fleet sustainment while providing uninterrupted mission support to the warfighter until the recapitalized fleet is fielded».
The AFTRS-R contract is a separate delivery order under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity Joint STARS Systems Improvement Program (JSSIP) III contract awarded by the U.S. Air Force to Northrop Grumman in October 2013. Other modifications under JSSIP III to maintain 21st-century mission readiness include the Global Imagery Server, which allows for the display of worldwide imagery data on all Joint STARS operator work stations, and the Automatic Identification System that will provide Joint STARS with a permanent, integrated solution for maritime identification of participating vessels.
«Our mission is to ensure our combat commanders have the highest degree of situational awareness in the battlespace. Over the past 20 years, our government-industry team has successfully delivered on a variety of advanced, highly affordable capabilities to the fleet. The Global Imagery Server, Automatic Identification System and AFTRS-R are all great examples of how we will continue to ensure our troops remain well-ahead of the threats», said Colonel Raymond Wier, Program Manager, C2ISR, Battle Management, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, U.S. Air Force.
Joint STARS offers battlefield commanders real-time situational information, while simultaneously transmitting target locations to aircraft and ground strike forces. The fleet has been operating at surge levels since 2011 and has flown more than 130,000 combat hours since 9/11 supporting operations globally, including Operation Inherent Resolve over Iraq and Syria. Joint STARS is the only all-weather, long-range, real-time, wide area surveillance and battle management and command and control weapon system in the world.
Astro Aerospace, a Northrop Grumman Corporation business, completed a successful Preliminary Design Review (PDR) of the nine-meter L-band reflectors for two Airbus Inmarsat-6 series satellites.
The success of the PDR is a significant milestone for the Inmarsat-6 program. With the preliminary design of the L-band reflectors now set, Astro Aerospace will continue maturing the design in preparation for the Critical Design Review (CDR) later this year.
«We are proud to support Airbus Defence and Space and the Inmarsat program», said John A. Alvarez, general manager, Astro Aerospace. «Astro Aerospace’s unique AstroMesh technology is particularly well suited for Inmarsat-6’s L-band capacity, which is significantly greater than the capacity of previous satellites and capable of supporting a new generation of more advanced L-band services. AstroMesh deployable mesh reflectors are made of the lightest and stiffest materials available, making them well suited for such missions. I also want to thank the combined Astro-Airbus-Inmarsat team that worked tirelessly to ensure a successful PDR».
Astro Aerospace (www.northropgrumman.com/astro) is the leading pioneer of space deployable technology and structures that have enabled critical complex missions to Earth’s orbit, Mars and beyond. Astro Aerospace’s hardware is characterized by its light weight structural design and robust deployment kinematics. Since 1958, Astro Aerospace has successfully deployed technology on hundreds of space flights with a 100 percent success rate, a testament to Northrop Grumman’s commitment to reliability, quality and affordability.
The five sunshield layers responsible for protecting the optics and instruments of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope are now fully installed. Northrop Grumman Corporation, which designed the Webb telescope’s optics, spacecraft bus, and sunshield for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, integrated the final flight layers into the sunshield subsystem.
Designed by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California, the sunshield layers work together to reduce the temperatures between the hot and cold sides of the observatory by approximately 570 degrees Fahrenheit/299 degrees Celsius. Each successive layer of the sunshield, which is made of Kapton, is cooler than the one below.
«This is a huge milestone for the Webb telescope as we prepare for launch», said Jim Flynn, Webb sunshield manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. «The groundbreaking tennis-court sized sunshield will protect the optics from heat making it possible to gather images of the formation of stars and galaxies more than 13.5 billion years ago».
«All five sunshield membranes have been installed and will be folded over the next few weeks», said Paul Geithner, deputy project manager – technical for the Webb telescope at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The Webb telescope’s sunshield will prevent the background heat from the Sun, Earth and Moon from interfering with the telescope’s infrared sensors. The five sunshield membrane layers that were manufactured by the NeXolve Corporation in Huntsville, Alabama, are each as thin as a human hair. The sunshield, along with the rest of the spacecraft, will fold origami-style into an Ariane 5 rocket.
The Webb telescope is the world’s next-generation space observatory and successor to the Hubble Space Telescope. The most powerful space telescope ever built, the Webb Telescope will observe distant objects in the universe, provide images of the first galaxies formed and see unexplored planets around distant stars. The Webb Telescope is a joint project of NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency.
The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $9.6 million contract, with options up to $40.5 million, to produce the Transducer Array/Nose Shell Assembly of the MK 48 heavyweight torpedo. The MK 48 is the primary offensive weapon deployed from all U.S. Navy submarines.
The initial contract covers engineering and production of 45 MK 48 torpedo Transducer Array/Nose Shell Assemblies. Three additional options allow for up to 45 units apiece, for a total of up to 180 systems over five years. The contract also includes orders for spare parts and engineering support services. The Transducer Array is the main sensor used to acoustically detect, locate, and guide the torpedo to its intended target.
«Northrop Grumman has a long legacy of torpedo production and we are proud to partner with the U.S. Navy to ensure the viability of the MK 48 torpedo for years to come», said Alan Lytle, vice president, undersea systems business unit, Northrop Grumman. «Between the new MK 48 contract and our existing production of the MK 54 torpedo arrays, we are honored to provide the U.S. Navy with affordable and reliable torpedo components and look forward to future opportunities for design and production of advanced, next generation torpedoes for the fleet».
Northrop Grumman’s experience with torpedo production dates back to World War II with the development and manufacturing of the MK 18 for the U.S. Submarine Force. Northrop Grumman has since produced thousands of torpedoes including more than 3,000 MK 48 torpedoes and nearly 500 MK 50 lightweight torpedoes. Northrop Grumman is currently producing the MK 54 Acoustic Nose Array for the U.S. Navy.
Work on the contract will be performed at Northrop Grumman’s Annapolis, Maryland facility, Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems’ Braintree, Massachusetts facility, and at additional supplier locations. Completed assemblies will be delivered to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Keyport, Washington, for installation into complete MK 48 torpedoes.
In addition to its work on the MK 54 and MK 48 torpedoes, Northrop Grumman operates one of the world’s largest and most advanced research centers on future undersea warfare technology. Current projects include research on multiple aspects of the very lightweight torpedo for missions in torpedo defense and offensive submarine warfare, development of automated torpedo array assembly and test, and advanced torpedo acoustic element and array design concepts for increased performance, reliability and lethality.
The U.S. Air Force selected Northrop Grumman Corporation’s APG-83 Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR) as the Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) for its F-16 radar upgrade.
Northrop Grumman will upgrade 72 U.S. Air National Guard F-16s to meet a U.S. Northern Command Joint Emergent Operational Need for homeland defense.
«AESA radar upgrades are critically important to give the F-16 community, the tactical advantage it deserves, and we are honored to provide this differentiating technology for the safety and mission effectiveness of our warfighters», said Bob Gough, vice president, combat avionics systems, Northrop Grumman. «The APG-83 SABR system is in full rate production and available now for U.S. and international F-16 upgrades».
The radar upgrade extends the operational viability and reliability of the F-16 and provides pilots with 5th generation fighter radar capabilities to counter and defeat increasingly sophisticated threats.
The greater bandwidth, speed, and agility of Northrop Grumman’s APG-83 SABR enables the F-16 to detect, track and identify greater numbers of targets faster and at longer ranges. In addition, the radar can operate in hostile electronic environments and features all-weather, high-resolution synthetic aperture radar mapping, which presents the pilot with a large surface image enabling precision target identification and strike.
The APG-83 SABR has also been selected by a growing number of international customers and is the base radar for Lockheed Martin’s F-16 Block 70. Northrop Grumman began delivering production APG-83 radars for its first international customer on schedule at the end of 2016.
The APG-83 AESA provides the following capability enhancements over legacy mechanically scanned APG-66 & APG-68 radars to ensure F-16s remain operationally viable and sustainable for decades to come: