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F-35 industry team to invest $170 million to reduce the JSF production cost

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US Navy Requests Industry Proposals for Carrier-Operable Drones

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Singapore to Equip F-16s with AESA Radar

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Aviation Week: RQ-180 UAS is the USAF new Stealth Drone

December 6, 2013 by · Comment
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DARPA Awards Five Contracts for the Evaluation of TERN Naval UAS

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Bigger Fire Scout MQ-8C Perform First Flight Tests

October 31, 2013 by · Comment
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Fire Scout Begins Ground Testing

September 23, 2013 by · Comment
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V-22 Tilt Rotor Demonstrates Aerial refueling potential

September 7, 2013 by · Comment
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US Navy Awards UCLASS Studies Amid Debate on Performance

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Navy Halts Development of a Sense and Avoid Systems for Triton

August 20, 2013 by · Comment
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New Interceptors set for US Army C-RAM Tests in September

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Northrop Grumman displays MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance drone in the UK

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Northrop Grumman displays MQ-4C Triton maritime surveillance drone in the UK

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Northrop Grumman Delivers First AQS-24A Airborne Mine-hunting Vehicle to Japan

June 25, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: Japan, northrop grumman, Syndicated Industry News 

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force (JMSDF) has received the first of four AQS-24A airborne mine-hunting systems (as shown in the photo above) from Northrop Grumman. Photo: Northrop GrummanNorthrop Grumman Corporation has delivered the first of four AQS-24A airborne mine-hunting vehicles to the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) for deployment on Japan’s new MCH-101 helicopter platform. The AQS-24A and its predecessors,...

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U.S. Navy Sea Based Missile Defense Advances to Shore

In the early 1990’s in a response to Iraq’s use of Scud missiles during Desert Storm the U.S. military, led by the then Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO), now the Missile Defense Agency (MDA), began investing in defenses against shorter range threats. Previous efforts had been oriented to defending the United States from the large the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (IBCM) based in the Soviet Union. All three of the major services had programs but the focus was on U.S. Army and Navy missile systems.

The Navy began developing 2 different systems that mirrored the Army’s path. Both involved modifying their current primary long range air defense system, AEGIS. This utilized large phase arrayed radars and the STANDARD Missile-2 (SM-2) interceptor. The AEGIS radars and other systems had originally been developed by General Electric (GE) but by the mid-1990’s had transitioned through Martin Marietta to Lockheed Martin (LMT). The SM-2 was produced by Hughes Missile Systems and Raytheon (RTN) but ultimately Raytheon acquired the whole business.

First, the missile, radars and command and control systems would have capability added to defense against shorter range missiles but still maintain their air defense mission. The Army was doing the same thing with their Patriot surface-to-air missile system. Secondly, a dedicated missile utilizing an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle would be developed. That meant the missile would not be able to engage air breathing targets but much longer ranged missiles.

By the early part of this century the air defense capable version, SM-2 Block IVA, had been cancelled due to budget and schedule issues. The long range SM-3, though, continued development and testing. It has proved successful including being able to intercept and destroy a failing satellite in 2008. The system has entered production and several cruisers and destroyers have been modified to utilize it. The Navy has continued development and the new SM-6 missile has just entered production at a new factory in Huntsville, AL.

The MDA has also decided as a way to supplement the current Ground Based Mid-Course System based in Alaska to develop “AEGIS Ashore”. This places the radars, other systems and missiles in trailers and containers that can be set up in different places and even moved around as necessary.

This program made a major step forward recently with the build up of the first test set that will be installed ultimately at the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) in Kauai, Hawaii for testing. Once that system is moved a second one will be installed at the main AEGIS production and development center in New Jersey. Ultimately the first set will be set up in Eastern Europe.

Originally the Bush Administration had planned on an expansion of the Alaskan ground based system into Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe. This was cancelled by the Obama Administration and AEGIS Ashore substituted. There is also plans to utilize AEGIS ships to provide missile defense converge of parts of NATO in Europe.

AEIGS Ashore is just one part of the continued Navy and U.S. investment in missile defense as it includes upgrades to the AEGIS radars, C2 systems and steady development of the STANDARD Missile. All of this will be to the advantage of key contractors like Lockheed and Raytheon. Further developments of a new radar, the Air and Missile Defense Radar (AMDR) also include bidders like Northrop Grumman (NOC) so as the program develops there will be chances of contract wins and work for other contractors. These efforts could also flow into the AEGIS Ashore or its replacement system in the future.

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First Unmanned Aircraft Launch from Carrier – A Moment in History

May 15, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: northrop grumman, Syndicated Industry News 

x47b_firstThe X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System demonstrator (UCAS-D) completed its first ever carrier-based catapult launch from USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) off the coast of Virginia May 14, 2013. “Today we saw a small, but significant pixel in the...

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Arrested Landing Completes X-47B Unmanned UCAS-D Preparations For Carrier Tests

“Shore-based testing allows our combined Navy/Northrop Grumman team to control test conditions before taking the aircraft to the ship,” said Matt Funk, Navy UCAS test team lead. “We are gradually building up to the maximum load conditions we expect to see during an arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier.” Photo: US NavyThe U.S. Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator performed its first arrested landing at Patuxent River, Naval Air Station in Maryland, on May 4. The landing using arresting gear was a key step in maturing the system for its...

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Arrested Landing Completes X-47B Unmanned UCAS-D Preparations For Carrier Tests

“Shore-based testing allows our combined Navy/Northrop Grumman team to control test conditions before taking the aircraft to the ship,” said Matt Funk, Navy UCAS test team lead. “We are gradually building up to the maximum load conditions we expect to see during an arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier.” Photo: US NavyThe U.S. Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator performed its first arrested landing at Patuxent River, Naval Air Station in Maryland, on May 4. The landing using arresting gear was a key step in maturing the system for its...

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Arrested Landing Completes X-47B Unmanned UCAS-D Preparations For Carrier Tests

“Shore-based testing allows our combined Navy/Northrop Grumman team to control test conditions before taking the aircraft to the ship,” said Matt Funk, Navy UCAS test team lead. “We are gradually building up to the maximum load conditions we expect to see during an arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier.” Photo: US NavyThe U.S. Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) demonstrator performed its first arrested landing at Patuxent River, Naval Air Station in Maryland, on May 4. The landing using arresting gear was a key step in maturing the system for its...

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Streamlined Blue Force Tracking System Integrates Combat & Logistics Support

fbcb2_jcr300The US Army is finally integrating a blue-force tracking system common to manoeuvre and logistics elements. For the first time on the battlefield, maneuver and logistics forces will share situational awareness and messaging, forming a complete and...

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US Navy to Review Four Designs for UCLASS; Plans Fielding Within 3-6 Years

In December 2012 Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Navy conducted deck handling trials of the X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System aboard the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75). Trials were designed to demonstrate the aircraft's ability to integrate smoothly with carrier operations. Photo: Northrop GrummanThe Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) intends to issue four firm-fixed-price contracts for Preliminary Design Reviews (PDR) for the Unmanned Carrier Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) Air Vehicle.

Alaska’s Ground Based Interceptors to Pivot US Defenses Against North Korea

gbi300Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced yesterday the increase in the number of Ground Based Interceptors to be positioned in Alaska, and the planned deployment of a second TPY-2 radar to Japan, two immediate steps to better protect the United States of America from potential missile attacks from North Korea and Iran. The US is also scaling down the European Missile Defense program, by limiting the system’s interceptors against intercontinental ballistic missiles, a step that could pave the way for further agreements between Washington and Moscow.

US Navy Orders Additional MQ-8C Long Endurance FireScouts

March 12, 2013 by · Comment
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Northrop Grumman awarded Cubic a $3.7 million development contract for a new multi-band digital datalink for the MQ-8C unmanned helicopter UAS. Photo: Northrop grummanThe U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a contract valued at more than $71 million to produce six additional next-generation Fire Scout unmanned helicopters. The Navy plans to purchase a total of 30 aircraft under a rapid development effort. Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to produce 14 Fire [...]

US Navy Orders Additional MQ-8C Long Endurance FireScouts

March 12, 2013 by · Comment
Filed under: northrop grumman, Syndicated Industry News 
Northrop Grumman awarded Cubic a $3.7 million development contract for a new multi-band digital datalink for the MQ-8C unmanned helicopter UAS. Photo: Northrop grummanThe U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation a contract valued at more than $71 million to produce six additional next-generation Fire Scout unmanned helicopters. The Navy plans to purchase a total of 30 aircraft under a rapid development effort. Northrop Grumman is currently under contract to produce 14 Fire [...]

Global-Hawk, Joint STARS Share Target Tracks on First Joint Mission

March 7, 2013 by · Comment
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RQ-4B Block 40 carrying the MP-RTIP radar system on its first flight, July 21, 2011. The radar AESA antenna is located in the gondola shaped pod while other radar modules are located in payload bays inside the fuselage. Photo: Northrop GrummanSharing of Ground Moving Target (GMTI) data between a Global Hawk Block 40 unmanned aircraft E-8C Joint STARS aircraft is paving the way for increased precision in target acquisition, improved target tracking and the ability to extend the surveillance coverage area without dependence on ground segments.

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