SAN DIEGO, Dec. 10, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector has successfully completed the first supersonic free flight of its Miniature Air-Launched Interceptor (MALI) at Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, Calif. All test objectives were met.
The Nov. 26 flight achieved a major milestone toward completing Northrop Grumman's advanced technology demonstration program for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. MALI is being developed to demonstrate the ability to intercept incoming cruise missiles in air-to-air engagements.
The vehicle was launched from an F-4 fighter at an altitude of 20,000 feet MSL. Following launch, it flew for 11.5 minutes in a racetrack pattern through nine waypoints. The vehicle reached air speeds of up to Mach 1.1, achieving the primary objective of supersonic flight. The test also achieved the following objectives: captive carry on the F-4 prior to launch; separation from the launch aircraft; vehicle engine start and transition to stable flight; normal operation of all flight critical sensors including the inertial measurement unit, GPS and air data system; proper fuel system operation; proper engine operation throughout the flight; and safe recovery from the designated area at the test range.
MALI is one of a family of miniature vehicle systems in development by Northrop Grumman. Another derivative in that family is a candidate for the Air Force's Miniature Air Launched Decoy (MALD) program. Deployed to achieve air superiority by confusing enemy air defense systems, MALD would operate autonomously to simulate the signature and mission profiles of aircraft such as the F-16, including the ability to maneuver and fly in formations. These unique capabilities would enable the decoy to deceive enemy air defenses without risk to pilots or aircraft.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning, airborne electronic warfare and air combat aircraft. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts.
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CONTACT: Cynthia Curiel Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (858) 618-4355