EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Sept. 15, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Air Force's new Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar will give commanders an unprecedented capability to simultaneously conduct air-to-air and air-to-ground combat operations hundreds of miles apart.
That's the conclusion of Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector, the MP-RTIP system prime contractor. The company recently demonstrated the radar's integrated targeting capabilities in a series of complex, stressing and highly realistic virtual war games. The games featured three virtual, MP-RTIP-configured wide area surveillance (WAS) aircraft and a virtual MP-RTIP-equipped Global Hawk high-altitude, unmanned aerial reconnaissance system.
The five-day integrated strike warfare exercise, conducted in mid-July, was funded by the Air Force's Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass. It was hosted on Northrop Grumman's Cyber Warfare Integration Network (CWIN), a nationwide, virtual battlefield environment.
"We demonstrated that by using three coordinated MP-RTIP-equipped WAS aircraft dispersed over a large geographic region, a commander could simultaneously and decisively defend against cruise missiles fired from multiple locations, and conduct a precision strike against a column of enemy armored vehicles," said Dave Mazur, Northrop Grumman's MP-RTIP program manager. "Global Hawk's MP-RTIP radar added a critical, high-altitude perspective to the surveillance activity. Using the versatile, high-performance MP-RTIP radar on both platforms at the same time boosted our confidence in the value it will bring to the integrated battlefield."
MP-RTIP is an Air Force program to design and develop a common, modular active electronically scanned array radar system that can be scaled in size for integration on several manned and unmanned airborne surveillance platforms. The program plans to fabricate, integrate and test the radar for the Air Force's RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance system, and the E-10A Multi-Sensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A). Northrop Grumman plans to deliver the first MP-RTIP radar unit, designated for Global Hawk, in 2006.
Northrop Grumman is teamed with the Raytheon Company on MP-RTIP. Under a three-year contract awarded in December 2000, Integrated Systems serves as the system prime contractor. The company's Electronic Systems sector, Baltimore, and its Norden Systems unit, Norwalk, Conn., along with Raytheon Electronic Systems, El Segundo, are developing the hardware for the modular, scalable radar system.
The CWIN-based MP-RTIP exercise was designed to collect data required to characterize the radar's performance and its contribution to mission effectiveness in a realistic operational environment. It featured participation by Integrated Systems CWIN nodes in El Segundo and Melbourne, Fla., and a Northrop Grumman Information Technology sector CWIN node in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The scenario used for the exercises was based on an accredited Department of Defense threat scenario. It included the three virtual MP-RTIP equipped WAS aircraft "deployed" in Melbourne and El Segundo; an MP-RTIP-equipped Global Hawk simulation provided by El Segundo; a battle management terminal in Colorado Springs that emulated the battle management command and control (BMC2) subsystem planned for the E-10A; and four manned F-22 simulators and four virtual F-22s provided by El Segundo.
Information Technology implemented the battle management node using the Department of Defense's Global Command and Control System.
"The WAS aircraft and Global Hawk simultaneously detected ground-moving targets including SCUD launchers and tanks, as well as airborne targets such as cruise missiles and bombers," said Bruce Ickes, Northrop Grumman's MP-RTIP simulation director. "Battle commanders in the simulated BMC2 node fed that information to our F-22 attack aircraft, which carried out simulated attacks against the highest-priority targets."
In addition to highlighting the strengths of the MP-RTIP radar, the exercise also demonstrated several attributes of the CWIN virtual integrated battlefield, including its ability to include multiple weapon system simulations located throughout the country in the same, real-time scenario and its ability to be rapidly reconfigured to support a new mix of airborne platforms.
Activated by Northrop Grumman in August 2002, CWIN is an outgrowth of modeling and simulation capabilities developed by the company in the early 1980s to help refine engineering requirements for individual aircraft platforms. It uses high-fidelity, physics-based models; realistic terrain databases; and operational command and control software to simulate many types of operational scenarios involving airborne and space-based sensor platforms, command and control elements and precision strike platforms.
Northrop Grumman uses CWIN both as an engineering tool to support current programs such as the B-2, MP-RTIP and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and as a realistic mission training environment for its customers. It allows commanders, pilots and command and control operators to help define, experiment with, and optimize new, more highly integrated approaches for conducting military operations.
Among the programs that will benefit heavily from Northrop Grumman's investments in CWIN is the Air Force's BMC2 system, the "operational heart" of the Air Force's planned E-10A MC2A. Northrop Grumman leads a team including General Dynamics and Harris that is currently competing for this system, expected to be awarded in spring 2004. As part of its commitment to help the Air Force refine the operational details of the BMC2 system, Northrop Grumman has already built a fully functional mock-up of this "back end" of the E-10A. It will be able to participate in future CWIN-based exercises as a node on the network.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise. As one of Northrop Grumman Corporation's seven sectors, it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems for U.S. government, civil and international customers. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.
CONTACT: Jim Hart Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (310) 331-3616 firstname.lastname@example.org Brooks McKinney Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (310) 331-6610 email@example.com