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25 Sep 13. Northrop Grumman Corporation has received the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI®) for Development Level 5, the highest rating possible, for two U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency joint modernization programs. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Global Command & Control System-Joint (GCCS-J) and Global Combat Support System-Joint (GCSS-J) programs. The Software Engineering Institute’s CMMI® for Development model is used to appraise and recognize best practices in software engineering and systems engineering. CMMI® is an industry-recognized standard for benchmarking process integration and improvement. The framework defines a set of objective standards for assessing an organization’s full range of engineering and organizational processes. The GCCS-J and GCSS-J appraisal was conducted by Process Assessment, Consulting & Training LLC, Burnsville, Minn., in accordance with the Standard CMMI® Appraisal Method for Process Improvement Class A methodology.

24 Sep 13. Eurocopter plans to transform its US plant in Columbus, Mississippi, into a final assembly and test site for its commercial AS350 helicopters in 2014, the company announced on 20 September. The Columbus plant already does work on the AS350 (notably assembly, customisation and flight tests of AS350s for law enforcement, and emergency medical services for US customers), but the company is now planning for a full assembly line with the capacity to produce 60 AS350s per year by 2016, a company spokesman told IHS Jane’s on 23 September. (Source: Jane’s)

23 Sep 13. Lockheed to continue support for NORAD’s space operations. The US Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC) has awarded a contract to Lockheed Martin to continue supporting the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Cheyenne Mountain Complex’s air, space defence and missile warning missions. Awarded under the integrated space command and control (ISC2) programme, the $20m contract requires the company to maintain the critical national defence missions at multiple locations worldwide. Specific work includes support for ISC2 space, air defence and missile warning missions, ensuring seamless sharing of data with other C2 systems vital to the US’s national defence. The new order represents the second option exercised from the ISC2 contract, which was secured by the company in November 2012. (Source: airforce-technology.com)

24 Sep 13. The U.S. Air Force and Northrop Grumman Corporation have completed the third in a series of warfighter analysis workshops for the Air Operations Center (AOC) Weapon System (WS) modernization program. The workshops are part of the AOC WS rapid development and prototyping process that incorporates early user feedback to help reduce development costs and ensure operational success. The Defense Department considers AOCs a weapon system vital to the national interest and the AOC WS modernization program represents a major leap in command and control (C2) capability for air components supporting combatant commanders throughout the globe. Northrop Grumman’s iterative process of frequent prototyping with operators providing direct input has been a hallmark of the modernization effort for the Air Force’s essential operational-level C2 centers. By engaging operational warfighters early in the acquisition life cycle, the company minimizes development costs by validating concepts before the system is complete. During the workshops, operators exercised the dynamic targeting and airspace management mission threads while taking advantage of machine-to-machine automation and collaborative workflows built into the design. Northrop Grumman’s prototype AOC system completed a system security accreditation risk reduction event in June that demonstrated improved cyber protection and an automated cybersecurity tool set. The company is in the process of installing the fourth prototype at t

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