FARNBOROUGH 2002 AIR SHOW, FARNBOROUGH, U.K., July 21, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Taking a step to cut risk and evaluate in-flight performance as soon as possible, Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector has readied the aircraft that will flight test the advanced radar for the next generation U.S. Navy E-2C Hawkeye.

An NC-130H test bed has been flight qualified for the Radar Modernization Program (RMP). Test versions of the new radar's transmitter, receiver, antenna and rotary coupler will be installed soon for the six-month test program scheduled to start in late summer or early fall.

"Having the C-130 allows us to flight test the electronic design of the new radar long before production-version components are available," said John E. Michaelsen, Integrated Product Team leader and vice president for Airborne Early Warning Systems. "That reduces the risk of the RMP program significantly and, of course, will preview how the radar will perform in flight."

In addition to risk reduction efforts, "Successful testing of RMP in the NC-130 will be a significant milestone in the Navy's roadmap to a single integrated air picture," said Capt. N. Lee Lilly (PMA-231), E-2/C-2 program manager.

The aircraft will not have the typical Hawkeye workstations. Rather, radar data will be recorded aboard the aircraft and evaluated in a ground station.

A team from Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems, one of Integrated Systems' three business areas, modified the aircraft's cooling and power systems, wings, cabling and the structure that carries the antenna's disk-shaped rotating rotodome, which was then installed. They also installed all the racks and other components necessary to accept the advanced development RMP radar. The work was performed at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

The new radar, being developed by Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, Syracuse, N.Y., is a solid-state, electronically steered UHF design featuring an advanced signal processor utilizing space time adaptive processing. The transmitter offers solid-state, multichannel performance with higher projected reliability than the current tube-based subsystem. The antenna allows for continuous 360-degree coverage but with the added ability to perform electronic steering for critical target detection and tracking. The receiver and signal processing system performs the function of eliminating clutter and jamming/electromagnetic interference in an optimum way such that target detection is maximized.

The next-generation RMP/Advanced Hawkeye will also have theater missile defense capabilities, multisensor integration, a tactical cockpit giving the co-pilot the capability to function as a fourth mission system operator, a new communications suite, new generators, improved identification friend-or-foe system, and an updated mission computer and software. The plan is to deliver the first prototype aircraft in 2007, followed by production RMP/Advanced Hawkeye in 2008.

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.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is an $18 billion, global defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and nuclear and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With nearly 100,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

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