FARNBOROUGH 2002 AIR SHOW, FARNBOROUGH, U.K., July 22, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector has announced its approach to achieving the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence (MoD) requirement for WATCHKEEPER, an unmanned system that will deliver an integrated image intelligence, targeting and exploitation capability to meet the U.K. land commander's critical information needs.
The Northrop Grumman industry team, a combination of U.S. and U.K. companies, recently completed the system definition phase of the program and has submitted a tender offer for the follow-on system integration and assurance phase. The team has been working closely with the MoD for two years to define a solution that achieves the U.K. warfighter's intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition and reconnaissance (ISTAR) needs with the best capability at the lowest risk.
"Our industry team has approached WATCHKEEPER as a network-centric, system-of-systems capability," said Ralph Starace, Northrop Grumman's WATCHKEEPER program manager. "The foundation of our solution is a C4I architecture driven to deliver timely data exploitation and dissemination of time-critical information so enemy targets can be precisely located, identified and eliminated before they have time to react."
Northrop Grumman's focus on command, control, communications, computers and intelligence (C4I) is key to providing interoperability with other U.K. and NATO ISTAR assets such as ASTOR, attack helicopter and maritime forces. The company has used an extensive modeling and simulation environment to evaluate the WATCHKEEPER capability.
"Drawing upon more than 50 years of experience in unmanned systems integration, we are leveraging our extensive expertise with unmanned ISTAR systems such as Global Hawk, Fire Scout and the demonstration aircraft Pegasus to develop the WATCHKEEPER capability," said Robert A. K. Mitchell, vice president for Advanced Systems Development at Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems.
The Northrop Grumman industry team includes the company's Electronic Systems sector, Baltimore, Md.; its Information Technology sector, Herndon, Va., and Northrop Grumman Information Technology Europe, based in Southampton, U.K.
U.K.-based Detica Limited, Guildford, Surrey, provides requirements assessment and analysis. Ultra Electronics, Greenford, Middlesex, is the leading developer in the U.K. of datalink systems analysis and definition. General Dynamics U.K. Ltd., St. Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, provides world-class expertise in U.K. battlefield digitization; and STASYS, Farnham, Surrey, supports concept of operations, operational analysis and U.K. Army doctrine.
The Northrop Grumman team's payload suite features electro-optical/infrared sensors and synthetic aperture radar for continuous day/night, all-weather ISTAR coverage, as well as laser ranging/designating for targeting capability. An element of the system's air component includes a robust, fully autonomous vertical takeoff and landing system based on a derivative of Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout system currently under contract with the U.S. Navy. The air element does not require a prepared runway and is well suited for restricted landing areas in urban operations, littoral environments and forested areas.
General Dynamics U.K. Ltd. is responsible for the ground control segment. General Dynamics brings expertise as prime contractor for the U.K.'s BOWMAN C4I program, principal supplier for the ASTOR ground station, as well as its extensive work in the U.K.'s battlefield digitization initiative.
"WATCHKEEPER is a central program to the future ISTAR growth strategy of General Dynamics U.K. Ltd, and is viewed as an essential project in shaping the direction of our organization and the synergies with our existing U.K. business is clear," said Lord Peter Levene, chairman of General Dynamics U.K. Ltd.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, 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: U.S. Contact: Jim Hart (310) 331-3616 Farnborough Air Show Contact: Cynthia Curiel 1 (858) 518-9722