SAN DIEGO, April 15, 2003 -- The U.S. Air Force has selected a team that includes Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC), Modern Technologies Corporation, Dayton, Ohio, and ARINC, Inc., Annapolis, Md., to provide a new global tactical combat communications system.
Northrop Grumman's Information Technology (IT) sector is the primary airborne system development lead and has been developing a system that will enable a global information grid (GIG) that provides seamless, secure, near-instant distribution of battle space and command and control information to warfighters, local commanders and higher commands.
Northrop Grumman IT estimates that work on the initial Roll-On Beyond-Line-of-Sight Extension (ROBE) program will total approximately $9 million over two years. This program enables rapid formation of the "Network in the Sky" that seamlessly integrates beyond-line-of-sight and line-of-sight communication networks.
"The opportunity to provide near real-time pictures of wartime operations exemplifies our expertise in combat communications," said Barry Rhine, president, Defense Mission Systems, Northrop Grumman IT. "We have a long and proud history of providing the Air Force with these systems on a realistic schedule and at an effective cost."
Northrop Grumman IT is developing the ROBE system at its facility in San Diego, Calif. The next demonstration will include integration onto a KC-135 aircraft.
Northrop Grumman IT has recently completed three successful "Network in the Sky" risk reduction demonstrations for the ROBE program. The flights demonstrated Link-16 range extension capabilities and the ability to extend the range of Link-16 by intelligently bridging beyond-line-of-sight and line-of-sight communication systems. The tests also demonstrated joint interoperability among participating Air Force, Navy and Marine units and the capacity to use the joint range extension protocol on network and satellite communications. Northrop Grumman IT also demonstrated the ability to receive intelligence broadcasts and signals intelligence information.
"These are significant milestones in our risk management plan to achieve key performance parameters," said Mike Twyman, vice president, Communication and Information Systems Division, Northrop Grumman IT. "ROBE is a critical enabler for global, network centric operations."
ROBE represents the first generation of smart relay terminals to be built, and will initially be deployed on KC-135 aircraft. ROBE is a roll-on and roll-off communication pallet that provides the capability to distribute command and control, datalink and situation awareness information to support network connectivity, in-theater reachback, and connectivity to dispersed units. In addition, ROBE provides an interactive situational awareness display to the aircrew of the host platform, a broadcast intelligence receive capability and a modular capability to include additional tactical links and networks. ROBE will be an initial airborne hub of the GIG and deployable theater information grid.
Northrop Grumman Information Technology is a premier provider of advanced IT solutions, engineering and business services for government and commercial clients. Headquartered in Herndon, the company's expertise spans such areas as information systems integration; command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR); enterprise hardware and software solutions; training and simulation; base and range support; signals intelligence; space systems; health informatics; and specialized scientific, engineering and technical services.
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CONTACT: Juli Ballesteros Northrop Grumman Information Technology (703) 713-4675