EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug. 31, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- A Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-U.S. government team has successfully demonstrated a new communications link for the U.S. Air Force's B-2 Spirit stealth bomber that will improve pilots' ability to exchange critical targeting and threat information and maintain real-time battlespace awareness.
The communications link, Link-16, is a digital data transmission system that broadcasts information at a high rate and is a standard used by the U.S. Department of Defense on secure networks. Testing showed that a B-2 equipped with the link will be able to exchange information with a variety of aircraft, ships, ground vehicles and other platforms similarly equipped with Link-16.
"Link-16 represents another in a series of upgrades undertaken by Northrop Grumman and the Air Force that will enhance the B-2's performance in the network-centric battle environment," said Gene Fraser, vice president and B-2 program manager at Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector. "It will provide a tremendous advantage to B-2 pilots by giving them greater awareness of the battlespace."
The test, conducted Aug. 1-5 in Northrop Grumman's B-2 systems-engineering laboratory in Palmdale, Calif., used a variety of C4ISR (command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance) data representing Air Force, U.S. Navy and U.S. Army operating environments. The lab was connected on a virtual test network linked through the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., to the 82nd Communications Support Squadron at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and the Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
Following JITC certification of Link-16 on the B-2, the system will be tested on B-2 operational aircraft later this year. Link-16 was successfully demonstrated on a test aircraft in 2004. As the B-2 prime contractor, Northrop Grumman is responsible for integrating the capability in the aircraft.
In addition to Link-16, Northrop Grumman and the Air Force are working together on several other projects to improve the B-2's communications, radar and weapons capabilities. These improvements will enhance the aircraft's ability to respond to emerging worldwide threats, ensuring that the B-2 remains as effective in the future as it is today.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports network-enabled integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use on networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.
CONTACT: Jim Hart Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (310) 331-3616 firstname.lastname@example.org