REDONDO BEACH, Calif., May 10, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) shipped the 23rd satellite in the long-running Defense Support Program (DSP) series to the United States Air Force's Cape Canaveral Air Station for launch preparation.
Flight 23 will mark both a last, and a first, for the program. This final DSP, to be launched this autumn, will be the first operational satellite to be launched aboard Boeing's Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle-Heavy.
"This up-coming launch of the last DSP is a major milestone," said Peggy Paul, DSP program manager, Northrop Grumman. "This program has produced many technical innovations, provided the nation with a reliable missile-warning system and has honed the expertise of several generations of engineers and technicians who have contributed to other Northrop Grumman programs."
"The sensors supplied for DSP have been upgraded continually for more than 30 years," said Ron Simpson, director, Military Operations and Maintenance, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. "Now in their fourth generation, their enhanced performance includes the ability to detect new threats."
Since its first launch in 1970, DSP has served as the space-borne segment of North American Aerospace and Defense Command's Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment System. The satellites have detected and provided early warning of missile launches, space launches and nuclear explosions.
DSP satellites have demonstrated their continued utility and flexibility through peacetime and conflict, including Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recently, scientists have been developing methods to use DSP's infrared sensor as part of an early warning system for natural disasters like volcanic eruptions and forest fires.
Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector is responsible for building the spacecraft and integrating the sensor, and Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector provides the primary infrared payload as well as the strategic and tactical mission processing.
Northrop Grumman Space Technology, based in Redondo Beach, Calif., develops a broad range of systems at the leading edge of space, defense and electronics technology. The sector creates products for U.S. military and civilian customers that contribute significantly to the nation's security and leadership in science and technology.
CONTACT: Sally Koris Northrop Grumman Space Technology (310) 812-4721 firstname.lastname@example.org