LINTHICUM, Md., Oct. 30, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Officials of Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) today officially unveiled a new state-of-the-art antenna testing facility intended to help position the company for anticipated future business opportunities involving large-scale, complex, multifunction military sensor systems.
The new $13.7 million antenna test complex consists of a five-story-tall, 16,000-square-foot facility specially equipped to verify the individual and collective accuracy and performance characteristics of literally thousands of T/R (transmit/receive) modules - each the equivalent of a mini-sensor - that are assembled in sections to form a completed phased array.
The new antenna facility features the largest scanner of its kind in the world, a unique 60 ft. by 40 ft. near-field scanner system designed to perform full scale testing of a broad variety of medium to ultra large antenna arrays. The scanner system boasts position accuracies comparable to the diameter of a human hair and obtains its impressive stability through a solid granite foundation consisting of two 75 ft. long parallel beams, collectively weighing 28 tons.
The strict climate-controlled environment of the indoor near-field test facility enables precision testing of each element of the antenna array. The scanner is capable of recording 300,000 measurements per second. An anechoic chamber installed inside the facility helps to eliminate reflections that could otherwise distort antenna testing results. A state-of-the-art alignment system for each unit under test ensures that exacting structural tolerances are maintained across the entire array surface.
Participating in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new facility were Ronald D. Sugar, chairman and chief executive officer for Northrop Grumman; Wes Bush, president and chief operating officer for the company; and James F. Pitts, corporate vice president and president of the company's Electronic Systems sector.
"Northrop Grumman is a recognized world leader in designing, developing and producing state-of-the-art military systems and sensors," said Sugar. "This new antenna facility will allow us to efficiently and effectively test the various types of new and improved large-scale, large-aperture phased array systems that will be required by the U.S. military and our allies in the years ahead for both shipboard and ground-based applications."
The new first antenna array to be tested in the new facility involves an S-band phased array antenna currently being manufactured at the company's Linthicum facility for a U.S. Navy program.
"This new antenna facility represents a significant investment by Northrop Grumman in the future of the company's operations here in the state of Maryland," added Pitts. "We're now well-positioned to transition our world-leading airborne multifunction sensor expertise into high-power, large-aperture, multi-function applications involving very large active electronically scanned array (AESA) systems equivalent to multiple fighter aircraft sensors."
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems produces AESA sensor systems for the U.S. Air Force's F-22 fighter and the multinational F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft program. Other key ongoing programs at the company's Linthicum facilities include the Multi-function Electronically Scanned Array (MESA) airborne surveillance radar being produced for the governments of Australia, Korea and Turkey and the Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR) now in development for the U.S. Marine Corps.
Headquartered in Linthicum, Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector is a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronics and systems including airborne radar, navigation systems, RF and IR countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space sensors, marine and naval systems, and government systems. The largest company sector in terms of sales, the Electronic Systems sector achieved sales of $6.5 billion in 2006. The sector employs nearly 22,000 people worldwide.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.
CONTACT: Jack Martin, Jr. Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (410) 765-4441 firstname.lastname@example.org