WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., July 21, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- Pilots of the U.S. Army's UH-60 helicopters will soon benefit from a modern, upgradeable, high reliability, attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) from Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Navigation Systems Division that requires no airframe, electrical or cabling modifications to the helicopter.
Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division (NSD) will supply the LISA-200 AHRS under a contract awarded by the Army's Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM). The initial indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract is for $5 million and the total contract could be worth as much as $30 million over a five-year period.
The LISA-200, designed and developed at Northrop Grumman's Lital facility in Pomezia, Italy, provides vehicle pitch, roll, magnetic heading and turn rate to the avionic subsystem of an aircraft. High-performance, modern fiber-optic gyro and micro-electromechanical systems silicon accelerometer technologies in the LISA-200 were used to create a small, lightweight, low-power, and reliable AHRS. The LISA-200 performs automatic compass calibration, providing the customer with operational and maintenance savings and has a predicted mean time between failures of over 19,000 hours.
The system is designed to retrofit older mechanical vertical gyro and directional gyro units in rotary- and fixed-wing applications. Lital derives the LISA-200 from 20 years of experience in the design, development and manufacture of a family of AHRS currently in service in more than 3,400 systems around the world.
The LISA-200 will be used in a dual AHRS installation. The operation of the AHRS is transparent to pilots trained on older systems, and it provides improved performance and operational capability. The dual configuration will fit into the positions occupied by existing pilot's and co-pilot's vertical guidance systems.
"NSD's commercial-off-the-shelf LISA-200 provides a low-risk, best-value replacement AHRS, which meets our customers' requirement for a dual redundant replacement unit for retrofit of mechanical gimbaled gyros," said Alexis Livanos, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division.
"This is a great achievement for Lital and it represents the culmination of five years of division team effort to gain the confidence of the U.S. Army to select the LISA-200," said Alan Kaile, director of business development for Lital.
The LISA-200 is capable of providing a series of growth options for future applications, including ARINC 429 digital input/output, integration with the external Global Positioning System (GPS) for accurate hybrid AHRS/GPS navigation performance, integration with a digital control panel to provide navigation management functions, and integration with external air data sensors. Other options that can be chosen include interface with alternative display options, multifunction displays, electronic flight instrumentation systems and standby instruments and a night vision compatible digital control panel.
The UH-60A Black Hawk is the Army's primary utility/assault helicopter. It can perform a wide array of missions, including air cavalry, electronic warfare and aeromedical evacuation. In air assault operations, it can move a squad of 11 combat troops and equipment or carry the 105-mm. M102 howitzer, 30 rounds of ammunition, and a six-man crew. The Black Hawk is equipped with advanced avionics and electronics, such as the GPS.
The mission of the CECOM is to develop, acquire, field and sustain superior information dominance technologies and integrated systems for America's warfighters. CECOM provides the architectural framework and systems engineering to insure joint interoperability and horizontal technology integration across the total battlespace. With the critical role of command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) in the Objective Force, CECOM is a key player in Army transformation. CECOM furthers joint interoperability through an alliance with its counterpart commands in the Navy and Air Force with jointly staffed commanders in chief Interoperability Program Offices at Fort Monmouth, Hanscom Air Force Base and San Diego.
Lital, based in Pomezia, Italy, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman providing navigation and integrated avionics solutions for a wide range of defense customers in Europe.
Based in Woodland Hills, Northrop Grumman's Navigation Systems Division provides situational awareness for the defense and commercial markets. It offers integrated avionics, inertial navigation and guidance systems, satellite electronics, identification friend-or-foe systems, cockpit displays, fiber-optic sensors and systems, and logistic support products and services.
The Navigation Systems Division is part of the company's Baltimore, Md.-based Electronic Systems sector, a world leader in the design, development and manufacture of defense and commercial electronics and systems including airborne radar, navigation systems, electronic countermeasures, precision weapons, airspace management systems, communications systems, space systems, marine and naval systems, government systems and logistics services.
CONTACT: Don Barteld Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems (818)-712-6179