Tag Archives: Northrop Grumman

Australian Triton

Northrop Grumman Corporation welcomes the announcement last month by the Australian Government to purchase a second MQ-4C Triton aircraft. Australia’s 2016 Defence White Paper identified the requirement for seven high altitude, long endurance Triton unmanned aircraft. Northrop Grumman will deliver the Triton through a cooperative program with the United States Navy.

Australia to purchase second Triton aircraft
Australia to purchase second Triton aircraft

«Northrop Grumman is excited to develop this unrivaled capability for the Royal Australian Air Force», said Doug Shaffer, vice president and program manager, Triton programs, Northrop Grumman. «MQ-4C Triton will provide the Australian Defence Force a high-altitude, long-endurance system for intelligence, reconnaissance and broad area surveillance missions to enhance the security of Australia’s borders».

Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne identified «people smuggling and the exploitation of our natural resources» as threats which Triton’s capabilities can help to address.

Minister for Defence Industry Linda Reynolds identified the opportunities this program will create for Australian industry and said that «there will be significant opportunity for Australian industry to share in billions of dollars of system maintenance and network management functions».

Northrop Grumman is committed to developing a sovereign defence capability for Australia through industrial partnership and participation, direct investment and technology transfer.

«We are proud of our partnership with the Australian Government and Australian industry, which we exemplified in the recent signing of the Australian Industry Capability Deed with the Minister for Defence Industry at the Avalon Airshow», said Chris Deeble, country executive, Northrop Grumman Australia. «To date we have partnered with several Australian entities to assist in the production and sustainment of the Triton unmanned aircraft system in Australia. Initiatives like this ensure local companies benefit from the investment in Australia’s security, and we take great pride in contributing to this».

 

Specifications

Wingspan 130.9 feet/39.9 m
Length 47.6 feet/14.5 m
Height 15.4 feet/4.6 m
Gross Take-Off Weight (GTOW) 32,250 lbs/14,628 kg
Maximum Internal Payload 3,200 lbs/1,452 kg
Maximum External Payload 2,400 lbs/1,089 kg
Self-Deploy 8,200 NM/9,436 miles/15,186 km
Maximum Altitude 56,500 feet/17,220 m
Maximum Velocity, TAS (True Air Speed) 331 knots/381 mph/613 km/h
Maximum Endurance 24 hours

 

Milestone C

The Northrop Grumman Corporation Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) pod for the KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft 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.

Northrop Grumman’s laser-based LAIRCM infrared countermeasure packages advanced missile warning sensors, a pointer/tracker and processor into a pod that can be transferred between KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for survivability (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force)
Northrop Grumman’s laser-based LAIRCM infrared countermeasure packages advanced missile warning sensors, a pointer/tracker and processor into a pod that can be transferred between KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft for survivability (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force)

The Generation 3 podded LAIRCM system, known previously as Guardian, is an infrared countermeasure system that detects, tracks and jams incoming missiles. It incorporates advanced missile warning sensors, a compact laser pointer/tracker and a processor in a single pod that can be readily transferred between aircraft to meet rapidly changing mission requirements. This mature system leverages Northrop Grumman’s decades-long countermeasures experience and requires no aircrew intervention. KC-135 Stratotanker aircrews can focus on their critical refueling, aeromedical evacuation and cargo missions while gaining the full survivability benefit the LAIRCM system provides.

To achieve Milestone C, Northrop Grumman worked closely with the KC-135 Stratotanker Program Office, Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve Command to thoroughly test LAIRCM for KC-135 Stratotanker in the laboratory and the field.

«In this changing threat environment, the LAIRCM Generation 3 pod is ready to provide much-needed protection to KC-135 Stratotanker aircrews as they carry out their critical support missions», said Bob Gough, vice president, land and avionics Command, Control, Communications, Computer, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), Northrop Grumman.

Northrop Grumman’s infrared countermeasure systems have been installed on more than 1,800 large and small fixed wing, rotary wing and tilt-rotor platforms of more than 80 types.

Undersea threats

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Biological Technology Office selected Northrop Grumman Corporation to prototype sensing capabilities using undersea organisms to assist in passively detecting and tracking undersea threats.

DARPAs Biological Technology Office Selects Northrop Grumman for Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors PALS Program
DARPAs Biological Technology Office Selects Northrop Grumman for Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors PALS Program

As part of the Persistent Aquatic Living Sensors (PALS) program, Northrop Grumman will develop biological sensing hardware that has increased sensitivity for certain sensor modalities, achieving greater range. Artificial intelligence will be applied to observe patterns in the marine environment to help classify targets. Northrop Grumman is partnered with Coda Octopus, Duke University, University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the University of Memphis.

«The detection, classification and tracking of undersea objects is a critical military capability and we are excited to work with DARPA to develop this next generation approach», said Mike Meaney, vice president, advanced missions, Northrop Grumman.

24 Hawkeyes

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a multi-year contract modification to deliver an additional 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft to the U.S. Navy. The fixed-price-incentive-firm contract is valued at $3.2 billion; the contract also includes an option for nine additional foreign military sales aircraft. Production of the 24 U.S. Navy aircraft funded by the five-year contract is expected to be complete in 2026.

Northrop Grumman awarded $3.2 billion for 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes to provide advanced early warning capability to the U.S. Navy (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)
Northrop Grumman awarded $3.2 billion for 24 E-2D Advanced Hawkeyes to provide advanced early warning capability to the U.S. Navy (Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy)

The E-2D is the U.S. Navy’s airborne early warning and command and control aircraft system. The carrier-based aircraft provides expanded battlespace awareness for carrier strike groups. Its two-generation leap in radar technology allows the E-2D to work with ship-, air- and land-based combat systems to track and defeat air, ship and cruise missiles at extended range. The aircraft can also be used in a humanitarian assistance and disaster relief capacity for civilian emergency coordination.

«This aircraft continues to demonstrate its strategic value to our warfighters with early warning, command and control», said Jane Bishop, vice president and integrated product team leader, manned airborne surveillance programs, Northrop Grumman. «With this contract, we’ll continue production of these highly specialized aircraft while delivering innovative solutions that outpace advancing threats over the life of the fleet».

Under the current program of record Northrop Grumman has delivered 37 E-2D to the U.S. Navy to date, completing all major production milestones on time. In addition to the production and sustainment of the E-2D, Northrop Grumman will deliver a series of capability upgrades. The third upgrade is slated for release in fall 2019 and includes an aerial refueling capability to significantly extend the aircraft’s endurance.

 

General Characteristics

Wingspan 24.56 m/80 feet 7 in
Width, wings folded 8.94 m/29 feet 4 in
Length overall 17.60 m/57 feet 8.75 in
Height overall 5.58 m/18 feet 3.75 in
Diameter of rotodome 7.32 m/24 feet
Weight empty 19,536 kg/43,068 lbs
Internal fuel 5,624 kg/12,400 lbs
Takeoff gross weight 26,083 kg/57,500 lbs
Maximum level speed 648 km/h/350 knots/403 mph
Maximum cruise speed 602 km/h/325 knots/374 mph
Cruise speed 474 km/h/256 knots/295 mph
Approach speed 200 km/h/108 knots/124 mph
Service ceiling 10,576 m/34,700 feet
Minimum takeoff distance 410 m/1,346 feet ground roll
Minimum landing distance 537 m/1,764 feet ground roll
Ferry range 2,708 km/1,462 NM/1,683 miles
Crew Members 5
Power Plant 2 × Rolls-Royce T56-A-427A, rated at 5,100 eshp each
Unrefueled >6 hours
In-flight refueling 12 hours

 

Missile Defense

The U.S. Army has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $713 million contract for the production of Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) for the first phase of Poland’s WISŁA air and missile defense program.

Northrop Grumman has been awarded $713 million to provide Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) next-generation capabilities for Poland’s WISŁA air and missile defense program
Northrop Grumman has been awarded $713 million to provide Integrated Air and Missile Defense (IAMD) Battle Command System (IBCS) next-generation capabilities for Poland’s WISŁA air and missile defense program

«Poland is taking a leadership role in today’s complex threat environment by selecting IBCS over legacy stove-piped systems that were designed decades ago for a much different threat profile. IBCS is the future of multidomain operations and with it, Poland will have a state-of-the-art system to modernize its integrated air and missile defense capabilities», said Dan Verwiel, vice president and general manager, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. «Through the acquisition of IBCS, Poland will be in line with the U.S. Army’s future direction. Poland will have the flexibility to consider any radar and any interceptor, optimize sensor and effector integration and keep pace with an evolving threat».

Under this foreign military sales contract for WISŁA, Northrop Grumman will manufacture IBCS engagement operations centers and integrated fire control network relays and deliver IBCS net-enabled command and control for four firing units. The IBCS engagement operations centers will be integrated with IBCS battle management software that maximizes the combat potential of sensors and weapon systems. IBCS engagement operations centers and network relays will be transported by Polish Jelcz vehicles.

«Northrop Grumman continues to work closely with the Polish Ministry of National Defense and Polish industry toward a comprehensive offset program that meets the program goals and requirements. We look forward to continued collaboration and partnership with PGZ and its consortium of companies on this and future phases of the WISŁA program», said Tarik Reyes, vice president, business development, missile defense and protective systems, Northrop Grumman. «We are pleased with the opportunity to deliver cutting-edge, net-centric IBCS technology to Poland and support the Ministry of National Defense’s modernization priorities».

IBCS is the air and missile defense command-and-control solution of choice for Poland. In March 2018, Poland signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance with the U.S. government to purchase IBCS and became the first international partner country to acquire this advanced capability. By implementing IBCS, Poland will transform its IAMD capabilities in a manner consistent with the U.S. Army.

IBCS creates a paradigm shift for IAMD by replacing legacy stove-piped systems with a next-generation, net-centric approach to better address the evolving complex threat. The system integrates disparate radars and weapons to construct a far more effective IAMD enterprise. IBCS delivers a single integrated air picture with unprecedented accuracy and broadens surveillance and protection areas. With its truly open systems architecture, IBCS allows incorporation of current and future sensors and weapon systems and interoperability with joint C2 and the ballistic missile defense system.

IBCS is managed by the U.S. Army Program Executive Office for Missiles and Space, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

Training Center

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Distributed Training Center (DTC) recently hosted simulated training for the U.S. Marine Corps at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia.

An ANGLICO team operates from a rooftop during the Iraq War (Photo credit: USMC Corporal Rocco DeFilippis Courtesy: United States Marine Corps)
An ANGLICO team operates from a rooftop during the Iraq War (Photo credit: USMC Corporal Rocco DeFilippis Courtesy: United States Marine Corps)

During two training events, eight F-15E aircrew based at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho trained with four Marines from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state via the DTC. The Marines, trained as Joint Tactical Air Controller/Joint Forward Observers (JTAC/JFO), are part of the 6th Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) tasked with calling-in air strikes and artillery fire in support of their attached formation. ANGLICO JTACs support Special Operations Forces and typically deploy to the battlefield in small teams.

Each mission scenario was designed, created and supported by Northrop Grumman DTC engineers based on mission demands. The multi-service Close Air Support (CAS) training closely replicated scenarios in current battle zones where warfighters are deployed, while at the same time providing virtual and constructive training at a fraction of the cost of live training.

«The Marines were impressed with the high fidelity training and said the customized scenarios felt like real life», said Martin Amen, director, secure network operations, Northrop Grumman.

The simulation training event met the following desired learning objectives provided by the participants:

  • (JTAC) Joint CAS environment – more than one service involved;
  • (JTAC) Integrated air and surface fires;
  • (JTAC) Deconflict multiple air assets – training included four virtual F-15Es and one constructive MQ-9 Reaper;
  • (F-15E) 25 mph+ moving target – fighter tracks and engages a target going more than 25 mph;
  • (F-15E) Hot gun to target artillery deconfliction – ensuring aircraft flight paths are not in conflict with the flight path of artillery rounds being fired at targets in the same vicinity;
  • (F15E) Squirters from a strike – track and target enemy fighters who survive the initial strike;
  • (F-15E) Bomb-on-coordinate targets utilizing different weapons – using varying classes of GPS-aided bombs to hit the right targets;
  • (F15E) CAS stack deconfliction – airspace management with the added value of matching aircraft to targets.

The DTC has provided live, virtual and constructive training for the U.S. Air Force for nine years, but this was the first time Marines used the DTC to train for their missions. Last year, the Army Rangers utilized the DTC for the first time to train for deployment.

Developed for Air Force simulation training in 1999, Northrop Grumman’s Distributed Mission Operations Network (DMON) provides the connectivity and network interoperability for the DTC, which became operational in 2010 to meet the need for real-world scenario development and advanced warfighter readiness training. Northrop Grumman wants to expand the use of the DMON and DTC beyond the Air Force to additional services such as the Marine Corps, the U.S. Army and international forces.

Air-launched missile

Northrop Grumman Corporation has received a $322.5 million contract from the U.S. Navy for the Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) program.

Northrop Grumman received a contract from the U.S. Navy, valued at $322.5M, for Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)
Northrop Grumman received a contract from the U.S. Navy, valued at $322.5M, for Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile-Extended Range (AARGM-ER) Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD)

The AARGM-ER program is leveraging the AARGM that is currently in production. The AARGM-ER will be integrated on the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft and configured for internal carriage on the F-35 Lightning II.

«AARGM-ER extended range coupled with AARGM lethality will meet a critical defense suppression requirement while protecting our strike aviators», said Cary Ralston, vice president, defense electronic systems, Northrop Grumman.

AARGM is an air-launched missile with the capability to rapidly engage air-defense threats. AARGM is currently deployed with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps on the F/A-18C/D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. AARGM is also integrated on the Italian Air Force’s Tornado Electronic Combat aircraft.

Active Protection

Lockheed Martin and industry partners supported U.S. Army integration of three countermeasures and a cueing sensor into the Modular Active Protection Systems (MAPS) framework for a six-week «rodeo» conducted at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama.

MAPS-enabled countermeasures integrated by Lockheed Martin defeat threats in U.S. Army field tests (city road viaduct streetscape of night scene in Shanghai)
MAPS-enabled countermeasures integrated by Lockheed Martin defeat threats in U.S. Army field tests (city road viaduct streetscape of night scene in Shanghai)

In a series of live-fire tests, the MAPS-enabled systems defeated 15 out of 15 anti-tank guided missiles by jamming their signals, causing them to fly off-target.

«The success of the Army’s testing shows the effectiveness of an active protection system that can rapidly refresh with new components to meet specific mission and platform requirements», said Michael Williamson, vice president of Sensors & Global Sustainment at Lockheed Martin.

Lockheed Martin engineers led hardware and software integration of an Ariel Photonics countermeasure into the MAPS framework ahead of the tests. They also supported U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command Ground Vehicle Systems Center efforts with BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman in integrating two other countermeasures and a cueing sensor.

Lockheed Martin was awarded the initial MAPS prototype controller contract in 2014 and continues to manufacture and deliver base kits to MAPS stakeholders. The base kit consists of a controller, user interface, power management distribution system, network switch and application software. It provides processing power to MAPS-enabled sensors and countermeasures and directs them in defeating incoming missiles and rockets.

The base kit supports the rapid integration of MAPS framework-compliant sensors and countermeasures to detect and defeat threats targeting MAPS-equipped vehicles. It is designed to protect current combat vehicles, as well as support future vehicle protection system capabilities.

500th center fuselage

On February 21, 2019, Northrop Grumman Corporation has completed the 500th center fuselage for the F-35 Lightning II – ahead of schedule.

An F-35 technician performs a skin assembly process with work instructions projected on the structure as one of the innovative solutions for high rate military aircraft production. A core structure of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the center fuselage is produced on Northrop Grumman's integrated assembly line at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence
An F-35 technician performs a skin assembly process with work instructions projected on the structure as one of the innovative solutions for high rate military aircraft production. A core structure of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the center fuselage is produced on Northrop Grumman’s integrated assembly line at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence

«We deliver an F-35 center fuselage every 36 hours and I am very proud to say we have made all our deliveries since the inception of the program», said Frank Carus, vice president and F-35 Lightning II program manager, Northrop Grumman. «Our dedicated team works closely with the customer and suppliers to improve quality and affordability in support of the warfighter».

Designated AU-18, the 500th F-35 Lightning II center fuselage is for a conventional takeoff and landing variant for the Royal Australian Air Force. Northrop Grumman began production on the AU-18 center fuselage in June 2018 and completed work on February 21. Northrop Grumman has been producing center fuselages for all three F-35 Lightning II variants since May 2004.

«We have set the standard for the production of military aircraft», said Kevin Mickey, sector vice president and general manager, military aircraft systems, Northrop Grumman. «Our teams and suppliers are constantly finding better, more affordable ways to deliver a superior product on-time, at-cost and, as with this center fuselage, ahead of schedule. When you couple this level of commitment with advanced manufacturing technologies, it’s just a win-win situation for us, our customer and the warfighter».

A core structure of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft, the center fuselage is designed and produced on Northrop Grumman’s integrated assembly line, a state-of-the-art facility supported by technologies exclusive to or pioneered by Northrop Grumman bringing together robotics, autonomous systems, virtual 3D and predictive automation to the forefront of center fuselage production.

Lockheed Martin is the industry lead for the F-35 Lightning II program and Northrop Grumman plays a key role in the development, modernization, sustainment and production of the F-35 Lightning II. In addition to producing the center fuselage and wing skins for the aircraft, the company develops, produces and maintains several sensor systems, avionics, mission systems and mission-planning software, pilot and maintainer training systems courseware, electronic warfare simulation test capability, and low-observable technologies.

Navigation System

The U.S. Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a $59 million contract for the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the Embedded Global Positioning System (GPS)/Inertial Navigation System (INS)-Modernization, or EGI-M, technology.

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is one of the lead platforms selected for EGI-M integration (U.S. Navy photo)
The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is one of the lead platforms selected for EGI-M integration (U.S. Navy photo)

The approval to proceed to the EMD phase follows the Department of Defense’s Milestone B approval in October 2018. During the EMD phase, Northrop Grumman will develop the critical hardware and software design for the EGI-M, build hardware for integration and qualification, generate safety and civil certification documentation, qualify the new EGI-M systems to rigorous military standards, and build production units for platform testing.

Based upon modular and truly open systems architecture, the EGI-M system will support the rapid insertion of new capabilities and adaptability based on unique platform requirements. Additionally, the modernized navigation system will incorporate new generation GPS receivers, which will be capable to securely and accurately transmit the new military signals for space (M-Code). The EGI-M will be integrated into multiple platforms across all of the services and exportable versions will be developed for international customers. The lead platforms for EGI-M are F-22 Raptor and E-2D Advanced Hawkeye.

«This EMD award brings us an important step closer to fielding a modernized navigation system that provides accurate positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) information, even when GPS is denied», said Dean Ebert, vice president, navigation and positioning systems, Northrop Grumman. «Northrop Grumman is dedicated to ensuring the safety and mission success of our warfighters by providing a resilient assured PNT solution that will allow service members to fly, fight and win in any environment».

EGI-M technology is designed for compatibility with current systems on legacy aircraft, allowing ease of integration and rapid adoption of new capabilities. EGI-M will also comply with the Federal Aviation Administration’s NextGen air traffic control requirements that aircraft flying at higher altitudes be equipped with Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS‑B) Out by January 2020. ADS-B Out transmits information about an aircraft’s altitude, speed and location to ground stations and to other equipped aircraft in the vicinity.