EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 28, 2010 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will extend its research agreement with U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) through 2012, continuing to work together to improve how military forces conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). The research effort brings together warfighters and virtual simulation to conduct analysis and evaluate how to effectively execute command and control of ISR operations in support of asymmetric warfare. Concepts of operation and tactics, techniques, and procedures demonstrated through this research effort will directly translate into improving current day International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) operations in Afghanistan.
"The continuation of the cooperative research agreement is a validation of its relevance to the warfighter community," said Dr. Michael Leahy, chief architect for Northrop Grumman's Advanced Programs and Technology Division. "The success of the research effort to date can be directly attributed to the commitment of the research partners."
"The opportunity to continue to work closely with the end-user and demonstrate innovative intelligence capabilities and architecture solutions that improve current day stability operations is vital to the future success of U.S., coalition, and NATO operations abroad," said Chris Frangos, program director and Northrop Grumman's principal investigator for the project. "We look forward to continuing our research partnership with USJFCOM as we consider both material and non-material approaches to satisfying existing and future missions and capabilities."
Northrop Grumman and USJFCOM established the research agreement in April 2007. During the first three years of the agreement, researchers introduced real-time human-in-the-loop virtual modeling and simulation-to-live demonstrations. The research team has successfully conducted numerous experimentation spirals and actively participated in the Empire Challenge demonstrations in 2007, 2008 and 2009, which were sponsored by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USD(I)). The research has led to improvements to existing ISR platforms and better ways to coordinate command and control of ISR to improve operations for conducting irregular warfare.
USJFCOM has provided the warfighter operational environment and expertise to the research effort. Northrop Grumman has contributed its virtual modeling, simulation and analysis expertise and deployed the capability to government locations to maximize participation of warfighters and achieve integration with government experimentation networks. The research team's goal is to fully integrate virtual and live systems during experimentation and demonstration activities to establish a more representative operational environment when assessing capabilities that will improve current-day command-and-control and ISR operations.
Under the agreement, the research team will participate in Empire Challenge 2010, planned for July 26 through August 13. As an USD(I)-sponsored USJFCOM-executed joint/combined ISR interoperability demonstration event, this year's Empire Challenge event has taken on a renewed sense of urgency as demonstrations are focused on transitioning solutions that improve ISAF operations in-theater today.
The Northrop Grumman team will employ virtual systems at the U.S Army's Intelligence Center at Ft. Huachuca, Ariz., and the USJFCOM's Joint Systems Integration Center in Suffolk, Va., in support of the 2010 Empire Challenge event. The goal of the demonstrations is to identify and assess ways to shorten the military commander's cycle of tasking sensors to collect intelligence, making the information relevant and enabling intelligence to be discoverable by the end user. Providing relevant intelligence and shortening the delivery cycle will enhance the warfighters' situational awareness and increase their chance of success. The demonstration will involve multiple U.S. government agencies, U.S. military organizations, coalition partners and NATO nations.
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