Thanks Jim. Chris talked to you about our strategy as a logistics pillar. Dr. Moore talked to you about how we are looking at the front end of logistics, and we're designing capability into those products, so that we can maintain them throughout their life. And then, Jim talked to you a little bit about affordability.
And so, as I bring up the rear here, my background was acquisition. So I am that knucklehead that Jim referred to, who built that product, and then delivered it to our military, and then tried to have them maintain it. So, thanks Jim for pointing that out. [laughter] Actually, that was the first two-thirds of my career, so I had kind of forgotten about that.
But, now that I'm in a position to help, let's talk about execution. So our team in technical services really concentrates on 24/7 global mission readiness. So we help our customers either view the problem in a different way, innovate by inserting technology, for allowing these systems, these weapons systems to stay in the field much longer than they were ever really intended, as Jim was just referring to.
The three things that I want to talk about today are really, operational sustainment. We're going to talk about smart modernization, which is really that piece that Jim referred to where we look at the technology that we have developed, and we insert that technology so that it makes sense for our war fighters, and gives them mid-cycle upgrades with capability. As Jim mentioned, your TV goes out of – Well, we have some computers that were developed in the ‘60s, that, frankly, we can put a card in and do that smart modernization. So we'll talk a little bit about that.
And then, global deployed logistics and embedded training that goes with that, to allow our war fighters to have the capability and the technology in their hands. So, now that we have this new generation of smart kids, you know, they don't want to read a manual anymore. They want to be able to take an iPad out there with them, and flip through, and make sure that they understand the drawings and the techniques they're supposed to use all at the same time.
So, let's talk a little bit about sustainment. Sustainment – and I'll give you a couple of very specific examples. The Joint Surveillance Attack Radar System, or Joint STARS as it's commonly referred to, was a Beck Award winner. Which means it's the outstanding logistics sustainment program of the year. So our team works on those in a depot. We do depot level repair, bring the aircraft in, break it down, look at critical components, replace those critical components, and send it back to our fleet.
We concentrate on zero defects. So, I mean, there were lots of things – TQM, all of the strategies that were employed in the ‘80s and ‘90s. But the zero defect process that we've employed at Northrop Grumman has allowed us to deliver the last 34 of 35 aircraft defect-free. So, what does that really translate to? It translates to a product that gets in the hands of our users that they don't have to do anything with to go out and use that product right away. So huge amount of savings for a fleet of aircraft maintainers who then don't have to worry about whether it came out of the factory the right way. So, excellent work on that team.
KC-10 is another great example. On the KC-10 program, we were able to focus on what we called our Drive for 85. We were looking for above 85 percent availability. And we did that through a depot modernization process that is total lifecycle support. So we're able to look at high time components and replace those components. And one of the areas that we concentrated on was the engines.
So, when we put our proposal together, we teamed with a commercial provider of engines, which was not something the military was typically comfortable with, or had been done that way. They kind of focused on organic support most of the time, on a product like this. That commercial vendor was able to save us over a million dollars per engine on this rework process. And we have done over 185 engines in this process to date.
So you can imagine that the government is able to use those funds, and do smart modernizations, that we would always like them to be able to do but, frankly, they didn't have the budget to do. So, by allowing that commercial vendor to use commercial best practices, to give us those savings, we were able to roll that into the other things that we'd like to do to maintain and persevere in that particular air frame.
Switching gears a little bit, we also looked at ground vehicles. Northrop Grumman has a large footprint in California at Fort Irwin, and then the training center at Fort Polk, over 7,000 ground and wheel tracked vehicles that we maintain. And our job was to provide a 97 percent or greater availability rate to those users. And so, we broke down the process with them, looked at the maintenance practices, and have been able to achieve higher than their stated objectives. Which means they're paying less for more in a process where smart buying power and all the things that the team are doing, really focus on that dollar that they can spend in a different way.
Smart modernization, if you shift what we do well in the depot world and in the maintainability world, you think about how you can upgrade that product during the mid lifecycle. So, an example of that is the electronic attack pod, or EAPUP. We take two fielded systems, the ALQ131 pod and the ALQ184 pod, and we take out the critical technology components that we can reuse.
We combine that with some development that NGES, the electronic systems sector is doing, to put a new brain, for lack of a better word, on where we control the profiles and the algorithms for jamming an electronic world. And we combine that back together, and provide them a savings of-- a maintenance savings of over $750 million dollars over the course of the program. That's a very good, affordable way to take two systems that, frankly, on their own, probably were unsupportable, upgrade the critical pieces through smart modernization, and then use the innovation techniques that we've used off of other programs to insert that software and those hardware products that have already been designed and developed for other platforms. So, that was a very good – And we gave them about a two times increase in maintenance man hours. So they didn't have to fix that product. So that was a tremendous savings for our customer.
If you think about commercially on smart modernization, the Department of State and the Highway Patrol Commissions are always looking for new a way to go out and do their mission, whether it's border crossings, whether it's just doing casual observance of a city environment. So we developed a product called Air Claw. Air Claw is a commercially available aircraft that we then modified to put surveillance and reconnaissance systems I, at a very, very affordable price. In other words, we're not using the high end grade military kinds of equipment. We're using commercially available radars and information systems. And we've networked them through the kind of networking that you do, frankly, in a normal computing environment.
For this user, it's an elegant solution at a very affordable price. So we're allowing them to get into a technology that they would have never been able to afford had we given them the DoD solution that we certainly have developed and paid for. But again, they don't have the same requirements. So we've made sure that smart modernization makes sense for that particular user.
The last piece that I wanted to talk about is deployed logistics. So Jim talked about the field and weapons systems. Technical services, along with each of the other sectors, deploy forward. So we are often, with our customer, at the front edge of the battle space, you know, helping them maintain or produce readiness levels, to allow them to do their mission. Global Hawk is an interesting example. We were able to rapidly redeploy to support the 2011 tsunami in Japan. Not typically something you'd think about doing. But, because the readiness levels were at the height of where they needed to be, they were able to move that asset quickly, and maintain it in an environment that they weren't ever anticipating to maintain it in. So, not only a military application, but a commercial application as well.
Hunter is one of the earliest UAV programs, I think, that was developed-- you know, quoted as the program that will never die. And frankly, it keeps doing just what the services need. When the Army needed a forward-deployed ISR program, they developed a government-owned, contractor-operated scenario where we put our employees forward and located at the range which made sense to operate. And we, for that effort, we were achieving 99.9 percent availability rates, which, frankly, is unheard of with several aircraft doing 24/7 kind of operations. And we won the Army's Joseph Cribbins Award for that extraordinary effort of making a system availability be our primary contract factor.
If we think about internationally, we, Northrop Grumman, are also developing significant footprints in deployed logistics internationally. So the UK AWACS program, or airborne warning and control system that's based in Waddington, does – we do a whole life logistics support, much like we talk about CLS here in the United States. Whole life support is akin to that in the UK. And so, we are responsible for the depot level maintenance, the commercial seat checks, which is a way of ensuring that phase maintenance is done properly, and then the upgrade parts of those programs.
So, by giving that all to Northrop Grumman, teamed with a couple of industrial partners in the UK, BAE, one of our primary partners there, we are able to provide four aircraft mission-readiness capable, so that they can go off and do things like they did in Libya. They had fantastic performance out of this weapons system when called upon for that particular operation.
We're going through midlife upgrade right now. So all of the smart avionics activities that we're doing in AS and ES logically flow right into that process. So, that was – The UK team is very happy with us. In fact, we're going over to the air show here fourth of July weekend, because they don't have fourth of July. So we're going over there to support a lot of flying that this system is going to do.
The last example I have is, we also do things that you don't typically think about in the deployed logistics arena, like supporting our first responders. We've trained over 75,000 first responders for real life activities, for things that you don't know are going to happen, but they need to be ready for. Whether it's a wildfire in California, whether it's a potential bomb or nuclear event, we go through the whole process of training those teams. And so, we've made sure FEMA and DoD have available and ready trained people to meet those missions. And that's a big deal.
So, kind of my final thoughts on where we're going here. We're focusing on delivering integrated, affordable solutions, through leveraging the technologies that we are developing, either with our industry partners, or with our customers. We're also – We've got a strong industrial partner relationship that we've also developed. So, a lot of the people that are supporting us are also helping us maintain these kinds of readiness levels. And it's changed the culture in some of the activities they're doing. So, to make our suppliers ready is equally important to have Northrop Grumman people on the front lines ready.
And then, the last piece, the relationships with our DoD and the initiatives that we're doing. A lot of those initiatives are actually starting in the commercial industry, rolling through the Department of Defense, and then becoming initiatives that allow affordable solutions to be inserted into the programs. And we're very proud of those activities.