BETHPAGE, N.Y., Oct. 16, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $2.7 million contract to develop new software that will deliver more of the Improved Capability (ICAP) III EA-6B Prowler's capabilities to the larger warfighting network.
The software, known as ICAP III Block 3, will be delivered in 2007. Under this contract, the company will develop software that will tie together airborne electronic attack systems in warfighting networks. The most important component of the software build is the company's response management algorithms that allow aircraft to participate in what the U.S. Defense Department calls electronic warfare battle management (EWBM).
"We are underpinning all our electronic warfare programs with a comprehensive EWBM architecture," says Patricia McMahon, vice president and Integrated Product Team leader for Electronic Warfare Programs. "We are designing EWBM to provide the customer with an actionable electronic combat operational picture based on sensor reports and intelligence data. The system will identify time-critical targets, assess their threat, prioritize responses and communicate these actions across the distributed electronic warfare systems.
"However," says McMahon, "electronic warfare battle management isn't just a futuristic goal. Its foundation needs to be incorporated into today's electronic warfare assets."
The ICAP III Block 3 program also will capitalize on Northrop Grumman's ALQ-218 receiver subsystem and the company's previously-developed sophisticated algorithms to enable the EA-6B's selective-reactive jamming and geolocation capabilities.
The ICAP III is the latest of five generations of EA-6B airborne electronic-attack systems designed to identify, degrade and destroy enemy radar-guided air defense and communication systems. Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector is the prime contractor for the EA-6B Prowler ICAP III.
The Navy reached initial operational capability with the first squadron of four aircraft in 2005. A second squadron became operational early this summer with the new Multifunction Information Distribution (MIDS) system. MIDS, which features the U.S. military's primary data-link system, LINK 16, will enable ICAP III Prowlers to become key nodes in the Navy's Sea Power 21 FORCEnet architecture. The Navy is now standing up its third squadron.
Prowler aircraft are a high-demand, low-density military asset, and are heavily used in the global war on terrorism. ICAP III Prowlers have already served twice in Iraq, supporting the ground forces this year. The Navy requires a minimum of 21 ICAP III-equipped Prowlers for its inventory. The company has already delivered 10 Prowler aircraft modified with the new ICAP III system and is producing another lot of aircraft due to be delivered in 2008, all with ICAP III Block 3 software.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
CONTACT: John A. Vosilla Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (516) 575-5119 John.Vosilla@ngc.com