BALTIMORE, Sept. 18, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) successfully demonstrated live Common Data Link (CDL) operations using the Modular Integrated Link Electronics System (MILES) at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Patuxent River, Md.

Using a shipboard-configured phased-array antenna, the MILES autonomously acquired and tracked moving ground and unmanned aerial vehicle targets. During tracking, the MILES prototype automatically relayed electro-optic and infrared imagery and video data in both directions.

"This is a whole new path for naval communications. What we've proven here is that we have a real turn-key solution to shipboard common data link communications with phased-array antennas," said John Jadik, director of Tactical Communications of Government Systems Division for Northrop Grumman.

The MILES is a low-cost, modular solution for C4ISR data link communications within the Navy. The MILES open architecture is predicated on a multi-band, multi-channel, software-programmable terminal and operates in all weather conditions. The demonstration was conducted using CDL waveforms for the surface terminal (shipboard) configuration, while using a prototype version of the phased array antennas destined for the Zumwalt class destroyer (DDG 1000). The MILES prototype is located at NAVAIR's Surface Aviation Interoperability Laboratory (SAIL) at the Naval Air Warfare Center, Patuxent River, Md.

The demonstration met or exceeded all of the required objectives including:

  --  Interoperability with other CDL radios
  --  Tracking with multiple beams or channels
  --  Digital beam-combining for stronger, clearer signals
  --  Target hand-off between adjacent array panels
 

"I was extremely pleased with today's demonstration," said Douglas Crowder, MILES program manager at the Office of Naval Research. "The team has exceeded our expectations in all regards and will no doubt carry this success into future demonstrations of this important tactical capability. The rigorous systems engineering that went into the initial development of the individual components, and the integration of these components into a turn-key system clearly paid off."

The MILES surface prototype test represents the first step toward creating a MILES airborne terminal. A risk-reduction test for the airborne terminal is planned for November 2007. The airborne system will undergo further testing with existing terminals to confirm its adherence to Navy and Office of the Secretary of Defense-mandated interoperability profiles.

The phased array antennas were developed by the Boeing Company, Kent, Wash.; the radio components were developed by BAE Systems, Wayne, N.J.; and the system control software was developed by Northrop Grumman in Baltimore. Northrop Grumman is also the systems integrator for the overall communications system.

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:  Paul C. Cabellon
          Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems
          (410) 765-7192
          paul.cabellon@ngc.com