Tag Archives: Northrop Grumman

Mine Hunting System

Northrop Grumman Corporation has successfully completed the development of the AQS-24C and delivered the first two systems to the U.S. Navy. The AQS-24C upgrade adds an in-stride volume search capability to the AQS-24B.

3 MH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and personnel after the successful AQS-24C trials held in Panama City, Florida (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)
3 MH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and personnel after the successful AQS-24C trials held in Panama City, Florida (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)

The AQS-24C builds on the AQS-24B that was introduced to the fleet in 2017, which has continued to excel in naval operations from both the MH-53E Super Stallion helicopter and the Mine Hunting Unit Unmanned Surface Vehicle (MHU USV) platforms. The newly developed AQS-24C systems recently completed shipboard contractor testing and government helicopter testing on the MH-53E Super Stallion platform. Achieving this development milestone has resulted in the start of production to meet the fleet generated requirement for increased mine hunting capability.

«The AQS-24C is a cost-effective upgrade to an existing system, providing long range volume search mine hunting while minimizing development costs and providing great value to the U.S. Navy customer», said Alan Lytle, vice president, undersea systems, Northrop Grumman. «This new capability will keep sailors out of harm’s way and shorten the mine clearance timeline».

Northrop Grumman is concurrently executing a separate contract for integration of the AQS-24 onto the U.S. Navy’s MHU USV, which will be evaluated for operational use from U.S. Navy surface platforms.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

Electronic Warfare

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received authorization to proceed with Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 systems following a successful Milestone C decision for the SEWIP Block 3 AN/SLQ-32(V)7 program.

Northrop Grumman has continued to invest in advanced capabilities in Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW). With the U.S. Navy elevating the electromagnetic spectrum as a warfighting domain, SEWIP Block 3 is the cornerstone capability that will meet the urgent operational needs of the Fleet
Northrop Grumman has continued to invest in advanced capabilities in Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW). With the U.S. Navy elevating the electromagnetic spectrum as a warfighting domain, SEWIP Block 3 is the cornerstone capability that will meet the urgent operational needs of the Fleet

Milestone C is a government led review to assess a program’s performance and readiness to enter the production and deployment phase. The successful Milestone C decision for SEWIP Block 3 recognizes the accomplishments of the Northrop Grumman and U.S. Navy team in demonstrating the capability of this groundbreaking Electronic Warfare (EW) capability.

«Milestone C approval and the start of LRIP are significant milestones for the SEWIP Block 3 program», said Captain Seiko Okano, the Navy’s Major Program Manager of Above Water Sensors. «SEWIP Block 3 is a critical capability that the Fleet needed yesterday to pace the evolving anti-ship cruise missile threat. We must continue to push to deliver this critical electronic warfare improvement to the Fleet on schedule and cost».

SEWIP Block 3 is the third in a series of block upgrades of the AN/SLQ-32 Electronic Warfare system which provides Electronic Attack (EA) capability improvements required to pace the evolving anti-ship missile threat. Northrop Grumman has provided electronic warfare expertise to the legacy AN/SLQ-32 EW system for over four decades. With the U.S. Navy elevating the electromagnetic spectrum as a warfighting domain, SEWIP Block 3 is a cornerstone capability that will meet the urgent operational needs of the U.S. Navy in that domain. SEWIP Block 3 provides game changing improved capability for non-kinetic electronic attack options.

«I am very proud of the entire team in achieving this significant engineering milestone despite the complexities of pursuing such a demanding technological goal», said Ingrid Vaughan, vice president and general manager, navigation & maritime systems division, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. «The relentless commitment of the U.S. Navy Program Executive Office Integrated Warfare Systems (PEO IWS) and Northrop Grumman team in developing this revolutionary electronic attack capability will dramatically assist our Fleet in pacing 21st century threats».

Indefinite quantity

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a $3.6 billion Indefinite Delivery, Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) award for Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasure (LAIRCM) systems and support from the U.S. Air Force. Under the IDIQ, the Air Force may issue task or delivery order awards up to the ceiling amount specified in the contract. Work under the contract is set to conclude in 2025. The initial task order is $2.4 million for logistics support services.

Northrop Grumman has been selected to provide infrared countermeasure systems under a $3.6 billion IDIQ award from the U.S. Air Force
Northrop Grumman has been selected to provide infrared countermeasure systems under a $3.6 billion IDIQ award from the U.S. Air Force

Northrop Grumman’s LAIRCM system protects aircrews by detecting, tracking and jamming incoming infrared threats without the need for user intervention.

«This new IDIQ award extends Northrop Grumman’s multi-decade support of successful aircrew protection provided by our infrared countermeasure systems, and demonstrates our customer’s confidence in LAIRCM’s ability to address the rapidly changing threat environment», said Bob Gough, vice president, land and avionics Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) division, Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman infrared countermeasures are enabling missions worldwide, having been installed on more than 1,800 aircraft of more than 80 types worldwide.

Training Capability

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a $450 million, indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity contract award to deliver Joint Threat Emitter (JTE) systems to the United States Air Force. The JTE offers realistic warfighter training and provides a modern, reactive battlespace environment that trains military personnel to identify and counter enemy missile and artillery threats.

The Joint Threat Emitter provides a modern, reactive battlespace war environment, designed to help train military personnel to identify and effectively counter enemy missile or artillery threats
The Joint Threat Emitter provides a modern, reactive battlespace war environment, designed to help train military personnel to identify and effectively counter enemy missile or artillery threats

Awarded by the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, the JTE Enhanced Delivery Initiative contract includes threat emitter units, mobile and fixed command and control units as well as spares, support equipment, testing and training.

JTE is a robust and ruggedized system that is easily relocated, reactive to aircrew/aircraft for fast-jet, fixed-wing and rotary-wing defensive measures, and can be rapidly reprogrammed with new threat parameters.

«Our Joint Threat Emitter systems enable aircrews to train in environments that match actual combat situations. These training systems are critical in preparing members of the military to respond to threats», said Rob Fleming, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR, Northrop Grumman.

The JTE Enhanced Delivery Initiative includes foreign military sales to U.S. partner countries through the U.S. Air Force. All work under this contract will be performed in Buffalo.

Northrop Grumman’s JTE is the current U.S. Air Force program of record with 28 systems so far fielded both domestically and internationally.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

Joint Surveillance

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a 12-month, $330 million contract for Total System Support Responsibility (TSSR) of the E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) fleet. The integrated total systems support contract covers TSSR Period Year 19, which began November 1, 2018 and concludes October 31, 2019.

E-8C Joint STARS aircrew members monitor moving target indication data at their operator work stations during a mission supporting BALTOPS 2018 and Saber Strike 18 exercises at Fighter Wing Skrydstrup, Denmark, June 12, 2018. The JSTARS team consists of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), plus active duty personnel assigned to the 461st ACW and Army JSTARS. They are in Denmark to participate in BALTOPS 2018 and Saber Strike 18. JSTARS brings a unique, manned, joint airborne command control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to the exercises. During BALTOPS, the Georgia Airmen will join military forces from 17 nations to enhance flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations to strengthen combined response capabilities, as well as demonstrate international resolve to ensure stability in, and if necessary defend, the Baltic Sea region. The Saber Strike exercise facilitates cooperation between the U.S., Estonia, Latvia Lithuania, Poland, and other allied and partner nations to improve joint operational capability in a variety of missions and prepare the participating nations and units for future operations while enhancing the NATO alliance (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sergeant Roger Parsons) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)
E-8C Joint STARS aircrew members monitor moving target indication data at their operator work stations during a mission supporting BALTOPS 2018 and Saber Strike 18 exercises at Fighter Wing Skrydstrup, Denmark, June 12, 2018. The JSTARS team consists of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing (ACW), plus active duty personnel assigned to the 461st ACW and Army JSTARS. They are in Denmark to participate in BALTOPS 2018 and Saber Strike 18. JSTARS brings a unique, manned, joint airborne command control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capability to the exercises. During BALTOPS, the Georgia Airmen will join military forces from 17 nations to enhance flexibility and interoperability among allied and partner nations to strengthen combined response capabilities, as well as demonstrate international resolve to ensure stability in, and if necessary defend, the Baltic Sea region. The Saber Strike exercise facilitates cooperation between the U.S., Estonia, Latvia Lithuania, Poland, and other allied and partner nations to improve joint operational capability in a variety of missions and prepare the participating nations and units for future operations while enhancing the NATO alliance (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sergeant Roger Parsons) (Portions of the photo have been blurred for security purposes)

Under the Joint STARS TSSR program, Northrop Grumman continues its longstanding partnership with the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center to provide total systems support to the 116th and 461st Air Control Wings for all facets of sustainment and support of the 16 aircraft Joint STARS fleet at Robins Air Force Base and forward operating locations overseas. Northrop Grumman will provide program management, engineering technical support, aircrew and maintenance training, supply chain and spares management, technical data and publications, program depot maintenance and overall customer support.

«The C2ISR division looks forward to the continued teaming with Northrop Grumman to improve critical aircraft availability to our combatant commanders while executing our Joint STARS 2030 roadmap», said Colonel David Menke, senior materiel leader, Command and Control Information Systems (C2ISR) division, digital directorate, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, U.S. Air Force.

«While supporting the Joint STARS mission over the past 33 years, we have focused on keeping the high-demand E-8C fleet available and mission capable for the combatant commanders. Our commitment to the supported soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen at the forward operating locations remains steadfast», said Jane Bishop, vice president, military aircraft surveillance programs, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

«The 24/7 support we provide to our warfighters under TSSR coupled with the rapid fielding of new capabilities is an effective way to ensure mission success. We completed the Air Force Tactical Receive System-Ruggedized upgrade in just 12 months and are now implementing a fifth-generation upgrade to the fleet’s central computers», Bishop added. «The E-8C’s continue to serve as a low-risk pathfinder for the U.S. Air Force through continued fleet capability enhancements while the Air Force develops the follow-on advanced battle management system».

Joint STARS is the only platform in the U.S. arsenal that combines accurate wide-area moving target detection with synthetic aperture radar imagery to locate, classify and track surface targets in all weather conditions from standoff distances. The fleet has flown more than 130,000 combat mission hours in support of the U.S. Central Command since September 11, 2001.

Team JSTARS, consisting of the Georgia Air National Guard’s 116th Air Control Wing, the active-duty 461st Air Control Wing and Army JSTARS detachment, provides joint airborne command and control, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support over land and water to combatant commanders around the globe. The total force integration unit operates the world’s only Joint STARS weapon system based out of Robins Air Force Base. In addition to work at Robins Air Force Base, TSSR is supported by employees and partners at the Northrop Grumman Manned Aircraft Design Center of Excellence in Melbourne, Florida, the Lake Charles Maintenance and Modification Center, in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and more than 30 major suppliers across the United States.

NGJ program

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $35.1 million, 20-month contract to demonstrate existing technologies for the low-band frequency jammer, the second increment of the Next Generation Jammer (NGJ) program.

The U.S. Navy selected Northrop Grumman to demonstrate existing technologies for the Next Generation Jammer Low Band, which will fly on the EA-18G Growler to provide advanced airborne electronic attack capabilities. The NGJ system will give Growlers – including this aircraft assigned to the Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139 – the ability to defeat increasingly advanced and capable threats, making the carrier strike group more survivable (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bill M. Sanders/Released)
The U.S. Navy selected Northrop Grumman to demonstrate existing technologies for the Next Generation Jammer Low Band, which will fly on the EA-18G Growler to provide advanced airborne electronic attack capabilities. The NGJ system will give Growlers – including this aircraft assigned to the Cougars of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 139 – the ability to defeat increasingly advanced and capable threats, making the carrier strike group more survivable (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Bill M. Sanders/Released)

Northrop Grumman has been the Navy’s airborne electronic attack integrator for more than 50 years. In addition to its work on NGJ Low Band (NGJ-LB), the company continues to support the fleet with advanced electronic attack capabilities.

The NGJ system will augment, and ultimately replace the EA-18G Growler aircraft’s aging ALQ-99 tactical jammer with advanced airborne electronic attack capabilities for defeating increasingly advanced and capable threats. Developed in three frequency-focused increments – high-band, mid-band and low-band – NGJ will be capable of jamming multiple radar signals at the same time, including surveillance and air-defense radars.

The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) selected Northrop Grumman for the NGJ-LB Demonstration of Existing Technology phase. The contract was awarded October 25.

Northrop Grumman’s offer was selected based on technical merit and potential maturity for accomplishing the low-band mission. The company’s solution also provides rapid operational capability to the fleet.

«Northrop Grumman will deliver a mature, low-risk and exceedingly capable solution for Next Generation Jammer Low Band that outpaces evolving threats and enables the Navy’s speed-to-fleet path», said Thomas Jones, vice president and general manager, airborne Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems, Northrop Grumman.

«Our NGJ-LB pod provides multi-mission capability for electromagnetic maneuver warfare. We stand ready to demonstrate advancements in this mission area and deliver ahead of schedule».

Work primarily will be performed in Linthicum, Maryland, and Bethpage and Amityville, New York.

Full Rate Production

The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $171 million contract for Lot 7 Full Rate Production (FRP) of the AGM-88E Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile (AARGM). The contract will deliver advanced capability to U.S. warfighters as well as the Italian Air Force and Royal Australian Air Force to counter the accelerating proliferation of surface-to-air threats.

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target
Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile impacting a target

«The rapid proliferation of today’s threats require the most advanced solution to detect and defeat surface-to-air-threats and protect our nation and allies», said Cary Ralston, vice president and general manager, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman. «AARGM is an affordable, game-changing solution and we are proud to provide this capability to the warfighter».

AARGM is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, upgrading legacy AGM-88 HARM systems with capability to perform destruction of enemy air defense missions. AARGM is the most advanced system for pilots, with in-cockpit, real-time electronic order of battle situational awareness against today’s modern surface-to-air threats. It is able to rapidly engage traditional and non-traditional advanced land- and sea-based air-defense threats, as well as striking, time-sensitive targets.

AARGM is a U.S. Navy and Italian Air Force international cooperative major acquisition program with the U.S. Navy as the executive agent. AARGM is currently deployed and supporting operational requirements for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps. The missile is integrated into the weapons systems on the FA-18C/D Hornet, FA-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. The Italian Air Force (ItAF) recently completed operational testing of AARGM on their Tornado Electronic Combat and Reconnaissance (ECR) aircraft. A series of flight tests culminated with direct hits on critical air defense threat targets, confirming the operational effectiveness and suitability of AARGM on the Italian Air Force Tornado and allowing the Italian Air Force to transition AARGM into operational squadrons.

Infrared
Countermeasure

Northrop Grumman Corporation teamed with the U.S. Army to develop the Common Infrared Countermeasure (CIRCM) system, and after undergoing a rigorous testing process to ensure system readiness for the demands of combat operations, the CIRCM system has achieved Milestone C. This critical milestone, awarded by the Department of Defense Milestone Decision Authority, marks the end of the development and testing phase and enables the beginning of production and deployment.

CIRCM is designed to protect aircraft from infrared guided missiles. The system has now received Milestone C approval from the Department of Defense, indicating readiness for production and fielding. Northrop Grumman teamed with the U.S. Army to develop the CIRCM system
CIRCM is designed to protect aircraft from infrared guided missiles. The system has now received Milestone C approval from the Department of Defense, indicating readiness for production and fielding. Northrop Grumman teamed with the U.S. Army to develop the CIRCM system

CIRCM is a lightweight system that uses laser energy to defend aircraft against advanced infrared missiles. It has a modular open systems architecture designed to evolve to defeat emerging infrared threats.

To achieve Milestone C, Northrop Grumman has worked closely with the Army to thoroughly test CIRCM. The system has undergone thousands of hours of laboratory, flight and free flight missile testing to verify its performance in a range of realistic combat scenarios. Throughout the process, CIRCM demonstrated its ability to protect aircrews by countering threats.

«With the achievement of Milestone C, we have collectively taken an important step toward getting this critical, life-saving technology to the warfighter», said Bob Gough, vice president, land and avionics Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) division, Northrop Grumman. «The CIRCM capability is mature, reliable and has proven to be mission-effective».

Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasures systems have been installed on more than 1,500 aircraft, representing more than 80 different aircraft types, including large and small fixed-wing, rotary wing and tilt-rotor platforms.

«Vanguard» radar

Northrop Grumman Corporation unveiled its «Vanguard» radar solution; a multi-function, open architecture system that can be easily scaled and applied to multiple missions and platforms.

Northrop Grumman’s Vanguard radar is a modular, scalable radar architecture that can meet a wide range of mission requirements and integrate into a variety of platforms across domains
Northrop Grumman’s Vanguard radar is a modular, scalable radar architecture that can meet a wide range of mission requirements and integrate into a variety of platforms across domains

«Our Vanguard solution redefines the way we produce radars and the capabilities possible within one flexible, scalable design», said Paul Kalafos, vice president, surveillance and electromagnetic maneuver warfare, Northrop Grumman. «Vanguard’s modular radar panels are a building block for a multitude of future radar aperture applications».

With its modular, panel-based structure, each radar panel represents a flexible building block that can be tailored to meet changing mission requirements. Each panel can act independently as its own radar, but can also be connected with the desired number of other radar panels to form one single, larger radar array. Each panel is also field replaceable, creating life-cycle cost savings and preventing long maintenance delays that prevent operation.

Large and small systems alike can use the same Vanguard radar building block, allowing for rapid, cost effective production and maximum system maturity.

Northrop Grumman has conducted more than 10 rigorous test flights and the Vanguard radar continues to exceed expectations and show exceptional stability, reliability and performance.

Crucial modes to the air-to-ground radar mission, including Ground Moving Target Indicator, Dismounted Moving Target Indicator, and Synthetic Aperture Radar mapping were executed successfully in Northrop Grumman’s first test flight of its solution in April 2017. Since that achievement, Vanguard has also shown the ability to rapidly adopt third party software and interface with the Open Mission Suite Battle Management Command and Control system.

Flight tests

Northrop Grumman Corporation recently began flight tests for MQ-8C Fire Scout aircraft produced in Moss Point at the Trent Lott International Airport, a major milestone for the company and the region’s aerospace economy.

Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout takes off for its first flight out of Trent Lott International Airport in Moss Point, Mississippi
Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8C Fire Scout takes off for its first flight out of Trent Lott International Airport in Moss Point, Mississippi

Northrop Grumman’s Moss Point facility is key to producing and testing the MQ-8C Fire Scout, the U.S. Navy’s newest autonomous helicopter that is bringing increased speed, endurance and payload capacity to distributed maritime operations. The U.S. Navy recently completed initial operational test and evaluation aboard the USS Coronado (LCS-4) for the MQ-8C Fire Scout, which has over 1,500 program flight hours. The aircraft is a modified Bell 407 helicopter that is produced in Moss Point and supports quality manufacturing jobs in Mississippi.

«Building on Northrop Grumman’s recent announcement of new production capabilities in Moss Point and a 40 percent increase in employment at the site, the ability to now conduct MQ-8C Fire Scout flight tests where the production occurs will bring new efficiencies and effectiveness to our local operations and improve our ability to serve the U.S. Navy», said Melissa Packwood, program director, Fire Scout, Northrop Grumman.

In June, elected officials joined local employees to cut the ribbon on the new machine shop section that delivers important capabilities at Northrop Grumman’s Moss Point manufacturing center. For more than a decade, Gulf Coast employees have manufactured rotary and fixed wing autonomous systems in Moss Point that support the U.S. and its global allies. Recent facility upgrades have allowed for new work on manned aircraft to come to the site, diversifying the portfolio of work and bringing new jobs to the region.

In April 2004, Northrop Grumman broke ground in Moss Point with site construction beginning in 2005. In April 2006, Northrop Grumman contributed to aerospace industry growth in southern Mississippi when the ribbon was cut on the 101,000 square-foot facility. The company celebrated its 10-year anniversary at the site in 2016 and recently extended its lease adjacent to Trent Lott International Airport through 2026.

 

Specifications

Length 41.4 feet/12.6 m
Width 7.8 feet/2.4 m
Blades Folded Hangar 7.8×34.7×10.9 feet/2.4×10.6×3.3 m
Height 10.9 feet/3.3 m
Rotor Diameter 35 feet/10.7 m
Gross Takeoff Weight 6,000 lbs./2,721.5 kg
Engine Rolls-Royce M250-C47B with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control)

 

Performance

Speed 140 knots/161 mph/259 km/h (maximum)
Operational Ceiling 17,000 feet/5,182 m
Maximum Endurance 14 hrs.
Maximum Payload (Internal) 1,000 lbs./453.6 kg
Typical Payload 600 lbs./272 kg (11 hrs. endurance)
Maximum Sling Load 2,650 lbs./1,202 kg

 

Engine Specifications

Power 651 shp/485.45 kW
Pressure ratio 9.2
Length 42.95 inch/1.09 m
Diameter 24.81 inch/0.63 m
Basic weight 274 lbs./124.3 kg
Compressor 1CF (centrifugal high-pressure)
Turbine 2HP (two-stage high-pressure turbine), 2PT (two-stage power turbine)