EL SEGUNDO, Calif., July 7, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- A Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-led team and the U.S. Air Force have reached a major milestone on a next-generation airborne surveillance radar program by finalizing the radar's baseline design and starting the development and demonstration phase of the program.
During the week of June 14-18, engineers from Northrop Grumman, Raytheon and the Air Force's Electronic Systems Center conducted the final design review for the service's Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar.
MP-RTIP is a modular, active electronically scanned array radar that's being developed for deployment on the Air Force's E-10A battle management and Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance platforms. It will dramatically increase the service's ability to detect, track and identify both stationary and moving ground vehicles, and low-flying cruise missiles.
The Northrop Grumman/Raytheon team is producing the MP-RTIP radar under an $888 million system development and demonstration contract awarded in April. Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector, the Air Force's MP-RTIP prime contractor, leads the team and serves as the overall system integrator. Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector and Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems are working together to develop and build the MP-RTIP hardware. Both Electronic Systems and Raytheon will also support the integration effort.
"The final design review is a critical turning point on the development curve of this transformational radar system," said Dave Mazur, Northrop Grumman's MP-RTIP program manager. "Until now, we've been working primarily with a 'paper' design. By completing this review successfully, we've demonstrated to the Air Force that we're ready to begin building and testing actual hardware and software."
Over the past few months, explained Mazur, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon laid the groundwork for a successful review by conducting a series of preliminary MP-RTIP hardware and software reviews with the Air Force.
"The purpose of these meetings was to create, in a concise, disciplined way, a 'blueprint' for building and testing each element of the radar," he said. "Like building a house, this blue print doesn't prevent us from changing our plans to accommodate new requirements, but it does provide an orderly framework for minimizing the impact of any changes on the program's overall cost and schedule."
Northrop Grumman's MP-RTIP prime contract calls for the team to produce six MP-RTIP radar systems: three for Global Hawk, three for the E-10A. The team expects to begin flight-testing the first Global Hawk development unit in 2006.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use on networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.
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