Oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface, presenting significant challenges to the United States and its allies in safeguarding security interests. To ensure support of global maritime security, Northrop Grumman is at the forefront of technological innovation, delivering effective multidomain capabilities to meet the distinct mission requirements of naval forces.

From seabed to space, Northrop Grumman designs and builds some of the most critical technologies to support naval forces around the world, defending freedom and maintaining safety of the seas. Here’s a snapshot of Northrop Grumman innovations that support maritime security: 

1. Air Dominance

The F-35 Lightning II is a stealthy, supersonic, multirole fighter designed to meet the requirements of the United States and allied forces worldwide. Northrop Grumman is a principal member of the team lead by Lockheed Martin, which is developing, producing, and sustaining three variants of the F-35 Lightning II program, including the F-35B used by the U.S. Marine Corps and the F-35C used by the U.S. Navy. The team is using advanced manufacturing techniques to enable a unique, high-rate production program and innovative solutions to deliver long-term sustainment.

The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet is the U.S. Navy’s most advanced frontline carrier-based, multirole strike fighter. Northrop Grumman plays a significant role in supporting the F/A18 E/F Super Hornet by producing the aircraft’s center aft and fuselage, including the vertical tails and subsystems for the Boeing Company and the LITENING electro-optical/infrared targeting pod.

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A U.S. Navy F-35C on the USS George Washington. (Photo Credit: Todd R. McQueen)

2. Airborne Early Warning and Control

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the latest in a line of Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft that spans 60 years. The E-2D is a game changer for battle management command and control by serving as the "digital quarterback" to sweep ahead of strike and manage the mission. The E-2D seamlessly analyzes, fuses, and distributes multi-domain information into a command-and-control system of systems, supporting all domains and levels of war. E-2 platform variants are operated by the United States and several international partners.

3. Autonomous Airborne Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Image

The multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft system provides real-time intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting over vast ocean and coastal regions. Built for the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, Triton’s 360-degree multifunction sensor, also developed by Northrop Grumman, is integrated into an aircraft capable of extraordinary range, endurance and speed imparting a level of operational flexibility never before possible. Triton— along with the RQ-4 Global Hawk in service with the U.S. Air Force and international partners and the RQ-4D Phoenix operated by NATO —provide the most capable persistent domain awareness over expansive environments.

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The multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft provides persistent domain awareness over expansive environments to support critical decision-making. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman)

4. Autonomous Undersea Vehicles

Northrop Grumman’s deep expertise in autonomous undersea vehicles has led to the creation of Manta Ray, a new class of uncrewed underwater vehicle. Built through a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency program, the extra-large undersea glider will operate long-duration, long-range missions without the need for onsite human logistics. Manta Ray will support a variety of missions and payloads, addressing the complex nature of undersea warfare.

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Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray uncrewed underwater vehicle during in-water testing. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman)

5. Data Delivery to the Tactical Edge

Northrop Grumman’s Maritime Targeting Cell (MTC) ground station can get any data to any place in time for any mission. MTC fully integrates data from multiple assets into a single mobile system, reduces sensor-to-shooter timelines, maximizes the effectiveness of long-range precision fires and allows for rapid assembly for quick and agile maneuverability with ground forces. MTC is just one system in Northrop Grumman’s tactical edge product line that equips warfighters on the frontline.

6. Electronic Warfare

For more than 50 years, Northrop Grumman has delivered naval airborne electronic warfare solutions to the U.S. Navy, ensuring strike aircraft reach their targets and return safely. From the EA-6A/B Prowler to today’s EA-18G Growler and P-8A Poseidon, our electronic warfare systems and solutions give warfighters superiority across the spectrum, allowing them to disrupt, deceive and deny a broad range of threats and make faster, more informed decisions.

In ship defense, Northrop Grumman’s Surface Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3 protects surface ships from anti-ship missiles, providing early detection, signal analysis and threat warning. Northrop Grumman is providing maritime EW capabilities that protect the fleet in the most austere, challenging environments.

7. Electro-Optical/Infrared

LITENING is an electro-optical/infrared targeting pod that detects, acquires, identifies and tracks targets at extended ranges. Flying on U.S Marine Corps and U.S Navy aircraft, LITENING enables a wide range of missions, including precision targeting, air superiority, close air support, surveillance, and humanitarian assistance. The pod’s modular design allows for upgrades over time to keep pace with evolving mission needs.

Northrop Grumman has yielded five generations of infrared countermeasures (IRCM) protection, harnessing the power of light to keep Navy and Marine Corps aviators safe from misdirect infrared-guided missiles.

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The LITENING electro-optical/infrared targeting pod provides high-definition imagery for day and night operations. (Photo Credit: Northrop Grumman)

8. Ground-Based Radar

The AN/TPS-80 G/ATOR is the U.S. Marine Corps’ Active Electronically Scanned Array multi-mission radar. G/ATOR provides comprehensive 360-degree situational awareness against a range of threats. The highly expeditionary radar can identify and track cruise missiles, manned aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles as well as rockets, mortars, and artillery fires.

9. Navigation

Northrop Grumman’s maritime navigation technology is on nearly every vessel in the U.S. Navy fleet. The fiber-optic gyroscope significantly improves maritime navigation in Global Positioning System denied environments for surface ships and submarines and plays a vital role in missile guidance.

Northrop Grumman’s innovative Electronic Chart Display and Information System (Navy ECDIS) is becoming the cornerstone of all U.S. Navy bridge and navigation systems. Navy ECDIS replaces traditional paper charts and maps with electronic charts with digital displays that help ships’ crews determine the safest and most efficient routes.

10. Maneuverable Munitions – Guided 57mm Ammunition

Northrop Grumman is developing next-generation ammunition for the Navy that will continuously maneuver inflight as it seeks its designated target. The company’s guided 57mm high explosive ammunition features an onboard seeker that can acquire moving targets, coupled with a fuze that can self-select either proximity or point-detonation mode. This cost-effective solution gives the U.S. Navy and its allies greater stand-off range to engage and defeat advancing threats.

11. Strike Missiles

Northrop Grumman’s Advanced Anti-Radiation Guided Missile Extended Range (AARGM-ER) is the most advanced counter-air defense system for today’s most modern surface-to-air threats. AARGM-ER is a supersonic, air-launched tactical missile system, providing the U.S. Navy and our coalition partners with a vital capability for Suppression of Enemy Air Defense and Destruction of Enemy Air Defense (SEAD/DEAD) missions. AARGM-ER advances the Navy’s AARGM baseline program, utilizing existing AARGM sensors and electronics technology, with a new high-performance air vehicle, propulsion system and advanced warhead.