EL SEGUNDO, Calif., May 6, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector will begin production of a "smart bomb rack assembly" for the B-2 stealth bomber that will significantly enhance the aircraft's ability to deliver "smart" weapons.
The new assembly will allow the B-2 to carry as many as 80 independently targeted, GPS-guided weapons, compared with its current capacity of 16.
Northrop Grumman will perform the production work under a three-phase modification to an existing B-2 contract with the U.S. Air Force. The first phase, worth $9.2 million, is scheduled to run through August 2004. Total value of the work, scheduled to run through the first quarter of 2006, is $31.7 million.
Northrop Grumman will convert a total of 45 existing B-2 bomb rack assemblies to the new configuration (nine were previously converted during the development phase of the program). The company's B-2 work is performed in Palmdale, Calif., and at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., the operational home of the B-2. The Boeing Company is a major subcontractor to Northrop Grumman on the smart bomb rack program.
The GBU-38, a 500-lb. Joint Direct Attack Munition produced by Boeing, will be the first weapon to be used with the new bomb rack assembly.
Northrop Grumman's B-2 program is managed by Integrated Systems' Air Combat Systems business area. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration enterprise with the capabilities to design, develop, produce and support fully missionized integrated systems and subsystems. Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services in support of chosen segments within the broad market areas of battlespace awareness, command and control systems and integrated combat systems.
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