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South Korea Interested in Global Hawk

It is being reported that South Korea has requested to purchase 4 of Northrop Grumman’s (NOC) long range, strategic Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the Global Hawk. With supporting parts, services and other items the contract is estimated at around $1.2 billion. Congress will have to approve the sale.

The Global Hawk conducts long range surveillance and intelligence data collection missions. It is currently used by the U.S. Air Force and will also support European and U.S. Navy missions. The Global Hawk has been in service since the early part of this century and has flown thousands of hours of missions in support of Iraq and Afghanistan. The system has consistently been upgraded with new sensors and other equipment over time.

In their original 2013 budget the Obama Administration had proposed reducing the number of Global Hawks that they planned to buy as well as retire some others. Congress fought this proposal questioning the rationale of continuing to use manned U-2/TR-1 aircraft for these missions.

This contract will follow on to a European order for 5 and the annual buys by the U.S. Air Force and Navy to support their programs.

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Contenders for New Presidential Helicopter Lining Up

Earlier this century the Pentagon started a program managed by the Navy and Marine Corps to replace the existing helicopters used to transport the President. Currently a mix of Sikorsky, part of United Technologies (UTX), made VH-3 and VH-60 aircraft are used. Some of them are now over 40 years old. It was felt that a new system was needed that was more efficient, capable and equipped with modern communication equipment. This was the VH-71 program.

The VH-71 planned to use an aircraft from Augusta Westland modified by prime contractor Lockheed Martin (LMT). The program was to proceed in two stages with a few aircraft bought early to test and integrate modifications. This proceeded with several aircraft purchased and modified. The problems arose as the requirements for the second effort changed considerably over time leading to schedule and cost growth. By 2009 the program was several billion dollars over budget and was cancelled by the Obama Administration as part of their defense reforms.

A draft RFP was released this week for the new program. It plans to save money and manage schedule by requiring the use of an existing, in production aircraft which will be modified. It is requesting that the bidders plan to minimize changes to expensive parts of the aircraft such as the power train, transmission, structure and rotor system. A communication system is being developed separately that will be integrated onto the new aircraft.

The VH-71 suffered as the requirements meant new major systems had to be developed and integrated to meet power, range and hovering capability requirements. The RFP is for 23 aircraft at a cost of just under $1 billion with the first ones entering service in 2020.

Currently teams made up of Sikorsky and Lockheed and Augusta Westland and Northrop Grumman (NOC) are interested. Boeing (BA) may propose after doing analysis as to whether their large CH-47 or V-22 tilt rotor aircraft may meet the requirements.

The VXX program is aggressive in that it hopes to contain cost, schedule and technical creep. As the VH-71 program indicated it may be hard to do this. With the expected defense cuts coming up the contract is very attractive not only due to its size but also the prestige. As with other large aviation programs the winner may also expect several decades worth of support contracts which could be worth billions.

Photo from dailymatador’s flickr photostream.

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Joint Strike Fighter Update – Training and FMS

As the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin (LMT) continue to negotiate the latest production buy for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) the program continues its path towards completing development, testing and begin fielding. With the recent, unexpected change in leadership for Lockheed one of the issues that has come up is the focus on the JSF program. On Tuesday the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (OSD(AT&L)), Mr. Frank Kendall, made clear that the company needs to concentrate on continued delivery of the aircraft and not worry about its short term business goals.

The program overall continues to make progress in different areas including completion of the Operational Utility Evaluation of pilot training Thursday. This means that the data collected through the process of teaching 4 pilots over the last six weeks will be reviewed by the Air Force Training Command (AFTC) eventually leading to approval of the program allowing formal training to begin.

In related matters a group of Royal Air Force and Royal Navy maintainers continue their training at Eglin AFB now supported by 2 British owned aircraft. The U.K. is one of the major overseas partners in the F-35 program and will also begin instructor pilot training this month.

In other Foreign Military Sales (FMS) related F-35 news both Japan and Denmark agreed to have companies there begin making components for the aircraft. As part of the overall program many of the other nations buying the fighter will contribute components from their domestic suppliers. In Japan up to 40% of their version of the aircraft will be produced domestically. Northrop Grumman (NOC), who produces fuselage and other assemblies for Lockheed, signed an agreement with a Danish composite manufacturer to provide items like doors, panels and skin assemblies. This is a follow on agreement to one signed in 2007.

The F-35 remains the most expensive acquisition program in history and a key part of U.S. modernization plans. Despite its struggles with schedule, testing and cost it continues to see investment in it by the U.S. and its partners. While there may be near term haggling about the price it is expected that the next production batch will be on order by the end of the year. As more aircraft are delivered training will continue to increase in amount and complexity.

Photo from MultiplyLeadership’s flickr photostream.

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Northrop Grumman Continues DTS Support

The Defense Travel System (DTS) is the on line system the Pentagon uses to manage travel. It is designed to aid the traveler in booking their flights, hotels and other arrangements. After the trip it then helps prepare their claim and file it. It is tied to their government credit card.

As can be imagined DTS is a large, complicated system processing 1,000′s of transactions a day. This all used to be done by hand and then after a scandal in the late Eighties when the costs to do this were calculated different, more automated systems were developed. Several years ago the Defense Department standardized on DTS.

Northrop Grumman (NOC) was just awarded a one year extension to their contract managing the system. The contract is valued at over $28 million and is the 15th year the company has worked with DTS.

DTS illustrates that the Pentagon spends a great deal of its budget on things like personnel, benefits and administrative costs. This is why the current plans to help reduce defense spending see reductions in the number of troops and changes to how healthcare and retirement are payed for.

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Northrop to Upgrade B-2 Bombers

In this age military aircraft have service life measured in decades. They gain this by constant upgrades and modernization efforts as well as through their maintenance programs. The B-2 bomber is no exception and provides a special capability to the U.S. Air Force even though there are only 20 of aircraft available.

With this in mind Northrop Grumman (NOC) was recently awarded a 10 year, $2 billion contract to provide upgrades to the aircraft’s communications systems. Because of the length of the contract this will provide for continued improvements to the aircraft’s systems.

Northrop is the original manufacturer of the B-2 back in the 1990′s and this contract illustrates how work and funds will continue to come to them after completion of manufacturing. Aircraft and other military systems need long term maintenance and upgrades and this work often goes to the OEM and can add up to billions over the years.

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Northrop to Modernize USAF AOC Capability

The United States Air Force operates Air and Space Operations Center (AOC) in support of different theaters across the world. These assist in the management of the air war by tracking and assigning assets and targets. The consist of several different electronic systems that primarily require human interface to manage. Starting last year the Air Force began a process to upgrade and modernize these systems. The overall system is called the AOC Weapon System.

This week Northrop Grumman (NOC) was awarded an initial contract to begin the modernization project. The value of this award is $120 million but if all options are exercised over the next 8 years it could be worth over $500 million.

The contract calls for Northrop to deliver an AOC WS with better awareness and faster planning and execution through improving information exchange. The plan is also to reduce maintenance and life cycle costs for the AOC WS.

The U.S. has invested greatly over the last fifty years in advanced aircraft with sophisticated weaponry. The AOC WS role is to manage the air battle to maximize the efficiency of those systems. The planned upgrade will help it do that mission better.

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Exostar to Deliver Enhanced Authentication to Supplier Portal for Northrop Grumman Corporation

HERNDON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Northrop Grumman secures access to its OASIS supplier portal with a cloud-based, two-factor authentication solution from Exostar. Suppliers globally will require MLOA HW certs issued by Exostar’s FIS.

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Thinklogical Selected for US NAVY BAMS Program

MILFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Northrop Grumman selects Thinklogical’s VelocityKVM Extension and VX Router Systems for Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Program Pilot Ground Stations.

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And the KC-X Winner is Boeing!!

The U.S. Defense Department and Air Force announced that Boeing (BA) has been selected to provide the new KC-X aerial tanker. The design submitted by EADS NA (EADS:P) was not chosen.

The new KC-46A will be based on Boeing’s 767 airliner design.

The Secretary of the Air Force, Mr. Michael Donley, stated that the decision was based on “mission effectiveness in wartime and life cycle costs as embodied in fuel efficiency and military construction costs”. This might be a hint that the larger KC-30 aircraft from EADS might have required more investment in new and bigger facilities then the smaller 767 tanker.

The contract has been very political with states that stand to gain thousands of jobs from the program using their Senators and Representatives to push for the respective bidders.

EADS does have the right to protest the decision as Boeing did in 2008 when the contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman (NOC) and EADS. They will have to wait until their debrief by the Air Force before making any decision about that.

Even an unsuccessful protest may delay the start of the program for several weeks and the Air Force plans on receiving the first 18 aircraft in 2017. The new KC-46A will replace Cold War era KC-135R tankers some of which have been flying for fifty years.

Cross posted at KC-X Tanker News.

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And the Winner is Boeing!

The U.S. Defense Department and Air Force announced that Boeing (BA) has been selected to provide the new KC-X aerial tanker. The design submitted by EADS NA (EADS:P) was not chosen.

The new KC-46A will be based on Boeing’s 767 airliner design.

The Secretary of the Air Force, Mr. Michael Donley, stated that the decision was based on “mission effectiveness in wartime and life cycle costs as embodied in fuel efficiency and military construction costs”. This might be a hint that the larger KC-30 aircraft from EADS might have required more investment in new and bigger facilities then the smaller 767 tanker.

The contract has been very political with states that stand to gain thousands of jobs from the program using their Senators and Representatives to push for the respective bidders.

EADS does have the right to protest the decision as Boeing did in 2008 when the contract was awarded to Northrop Grumman (NOC) and EADS. They will have to wait until their debrief by the Air Force before making any decision about that.

Even an unsuccessful protest may delay the start of the program for several weeks and the Air Force plans on receiving the first 18 aircraft in 2017. The new KC-46A will replace Cold War era KC-135R tankers some of which have been flying for fifty years.

Cross posted at Defense Procurement News.

CPI Aero Awarded $4 Million Order for E-2D Seats from Northrop Grumman Corporation

EDGEWOOD, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CPI Aerostructures, Inc. (“CPI Aero®”) (NYSE Amex: CVU) announced today it has received a purchase order to manufacture seats for the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft from Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) valued at approximately $4 million. There are a total of five seats in three different designs in an E-2D; one for the pilot, one for the co-pilot and three seats for the crew members. The period of performance is through 2013 with first delivery scheduled

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KC-X Soon? Protest Coming

At a recent press availability during the Air Force Association’s winter conference the Secretary of the Air Force indicated that the KC-X new aerial tanker contract will be awarded as early as this week. Earlier rumors had it being done in the next month or so.

Mr. Donley also made it clear that there is a potential for a protest of the award by either Boeing (BA) or EADS NA (EADS:P) if they don’t win and that the Air Force and the Defense Department are prepared to deal with it.

This is the third attempt to award this contract with the last contest won by Northrop Grumman (NOC) and EADS in 2008 overturned on Boeing’s protest. Due to the size, importance and the conflicts between the U.S. contractor and its supporters and the European aerospace giant this may continue to be an messy, extended affair.

For now everyone must wait until the decision is announced which could occur as early as tomorrow after 5:00 Eastern.

BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman Team Submits Bid for an Affordable, High-Performing Ground Combat Vehicle Solution

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman team submitted a proposal for a U.S. Army Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) that emphasizes affordability, performance and future scalability. “Our proposal delivers an affordable, high-performing infantry fighting vehicle built from the ground-up that satisfies the needs of our soldiers today and has room for technological growth in the years ahead,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Ground Combat Vehicle at B

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Research and Markets: US Government Contractors: $540 Billion on Contracts Including $370 Billion for Defense from Companies Like Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman

DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Research and Markets (http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/775c2e/government_contrac) has announced the addition of the "Government Contractors " report to their offering. The US government in its fiscal year ended September 2009 spent about $540 billion on contracts to buy goods and services, including about $370 billion for defense-related items, from about 260,000 companies. Major federal contractors include Boeing, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Gr

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BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman Add iRobot to Ground Combat Vehicle Team

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman today announced they have added iRobot Corp. (NASDAQ: IRBT) to their Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) team in their bid for the U.S. Army’s GCV competition. "The addition of iRobot to our team strengthens and promotes the unmanned components of the GCV program," said Mark Signorelli, BAE Systems vice president and general manager of Ground Combat Vehicle. "Collectively we bring the proven experience, the latest technology and cultures

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CSC Wins $50 Million Department of Defense Subcontract for Analytics Modernization

FALLS CHURCH, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CSC announced today that Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC), of Los Angeles, Calif., awarded the company a subcontract to provide analytics modernization services to the Department of Defense.

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Realization to Host Project Flow 2010 Conference

Realization, a leader in project execution for MRO providers, will be hosting Project Flow 2010 Customer Conference in September. This is the world’s largest conference dedicated to Critical Chain project management.

The Conference will be in Chicago on the 7th and 8th of September. It will have presentations and discussions about utilizing project execution to aid the rebuilding of America’s infrastructure. Several case studies will be presented and information shared on how best to implement Critical Chain. Critical Chain has been adopted by many aviation MRO organizations who have achieved improvements in their cost and schedule performance.

At Project Flow, MRO professionals will share information and learn about how to best implement Critical Chain in their own organizations. This year’s conference will include aviation MRO case studies from Northrop Grumman, Tinker Air Force Base and Odgen Air Force Base.

More information may be found at the conference’s website, http://www.realization.com/PF2010.html.

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BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman Add Members to Ground Combat Vehicle Team

ARLINGTON, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman today announced additional members to their GCV team in their bid for the U.S. Army’s Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) competition. BAE Systems-Northrop Grumman GCV teammates include: QinetiQ North America Saft “We have built a team that has extensive experience and innovation in the development and production of combat systems and subsystems,” said Mark Signorelli, vice president and general manager of Ground Combat Vehicles at BAE Sy

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More Global Hawks For The Air Force And Northrop Grumman

The U.S. Air Force announced that it has awarded two contracts to Northrop Grumman (NOC) to continue production and development of the strategic Global Hawk UAV. The combined value of the contracts is worth almost $600 million. The Global Hawk flies long range missions autonomously and collects signals, communications and other type of intelligence.

The contracts call for continued production of four more systems. Two each of the Block 30 and 40 designs were ordered. The second contract will pay for two payload packages called airborne signals intelligence payloads (ASIP) and upgrade kits for three more ASIP.

The company also announced that it had received $30 million to purchase long lead items for these systems.

Global Hawks have been flying since before 9/11 and have carried out missions across South West Asia in support of U.S. operations there. The U.S. Navy and Australia are also looking at the system.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/gotoh/ / CC BY-ND 2.0
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Rockwell Collins To Build New Training System For E-2D

The Navy is introducing an upgraded version of their E-2 radar plane. The E-2D is made by Northrop Grumman and is the latest version of the aircraft that has been in service since the 1970′s. It offers improved radar and command and control capabilities over the E-2C currently being used.

As part of this new system going into use the Navy contracted with Rockwell Collins to build the integrated maintenance training system. This four year contract is worth over $60 million. Rockwell will design and build maintenance simulators as well as course material and a computer delivery system. The contract also includes support for these systems once they are delivered.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/40132991@N07/ / CC BY 2.0
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Newly Private TASC Wins Army Intelligence Support Contractor

TASC, formerly the SETA arm of Northrop Grumman (NOC), before it was sold to a private equity firm last year was awarded a contract to provide support to the Army Military Intelligence Community. The contract has one base year and four option years and could be worth as much as $26 million.

Northrop decided to sell TASC due to the potential for Organizational Conflicts of Interest (OCI) when it was preparing to bid on large procurement programs. The Air Force had raised issues with previous satellite contracts and Northrop decided that this was the easiest path for them.

TASC will support all aspects of the command including budget and policy as well as providing tools for analysis. The work will help the Army design and execute their force structure and intelligence assets.

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The UAV Market Is Good for Northrop, But Expanding Drone Missions Poses Challenges

May 6, 2010 by · Comment
Filed under: BNET, Syndicated Industry News 

Northrop Grumman’s most recent results were buoyed by the sale of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The continue investment of the U.S. military in these systems will aid companies like Northrop and…

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The UAV Market Is Good for Northrop, But Expanding Drone Missions Poses Challenges

May 5, 2010 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: BNET, Syndicated Industry News 

Northrop Grumman’s most recent results were buoyed by the sale of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. The continue investment of the U.S. military…

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Analysis: EADS Participating In KC-X Contest

This is an article I wrote at BNET: Government about EADS decision to submit a proposal.

“The decade-long saga to replace the KC-X aerial tanker contract begins a new chapter. The European aerospace giant EADS (EADS: P) and Airbus, its subsidiary, announced that it will definitely submit a contract proposal to the Air Force. The program will replace the aging Cold War KC-135 tankers (pictured).

Boeing (BA) thought it had won the contract for at least 179 new aircraft earlier this year when Northrop Grumman (NOC) who had bid in partnership with EADS withdrew from the bidding. Then, earlier this month, the Pentagon agreed to extend the deadline, at EADS’ request, to allow it time to submit a new bid.”

Read the rest at BNET.

Northrop Grumman Names Lawrence J. Lanzillotta Acting Head of Its Washington Office

Northrop Grumman Names Lawrence J. Lanzillotta Acting Head of Its Washington Office
April 19, 2010

LOS ANGELES –– Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has named Lawrence J. "Larry" Lanzillotta, vice president and acting head of its Washington Office effective immediately, reporting to Wes Bush, Northrop Grumman chief executive officer and president. Lanzillotta replaces Robert W. "Bob" Helm, who has elected to retire from the company.

"I would like to thank Bob Helm for his many contributions to Northrop Grumman over his 21 years of service," Bush said. "Bob played
a key role as head of the corporation's Washington Office as the company experienced a period of rapid expansion and subsequent
integration, and successfully transitioned to a global security company. Larry Lanzillotta's experience in both the U.S. Government and
Northrop Grumman Washington operations will serve us well as we move forward."

Lanzillotta will serve in an acting capacity until decisions are made regarding the future leadership of the corporation's Washington Office.

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