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12 Feb 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC – News) Integrated Systems sector has been awarded a contract to modify and prepare two Global Hawk unmanned reconnaissance vehicles and associated ground and support equipment for the U.S. Navy Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration (GHMD) program.

The $185,200,000 cost-plus-award-fee involves an undefinitized-contract-action contract modification to provide for engineering and manufacturing development activities in support of the Global Hawk Maritime Demonstration. At this time, $20,000,000 of the funds has been obligated. Further funds will be obligated as individual delivery orders are issued. This work will be completed by September 2006. Solicitation began December 2002. The Headquarters Aeronautical Systems Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (F33657-01-C-4600, P00020). The level of work required through 2006 could bring the value of the GHMD to as much as $185.2m, though the final details of the cost-plus-award-fee contract awarded There are options that could extend the contract through fiscal year 2009 at a total potential value of $318.5m.

“This demonstration will employ the technical expertise of two Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems business units to provide a cost-effective solution that meets our Navy customer’s needs,” said Martin E. Dandridge, executive vice president and general manager, Unmanned Systems.

“Integrating maritime sensors with Global Hawk’s high-altitude, long endurance capability will provide strong, persistent surveillance to meet the Navy’s critical requirements.”

The objective of the Navy’s demonstration is to accelerate and refine the development of Naval UAV Concept of Operations and experimentation. The program will leverage Air Force contracts to procure two Global Hawk UAVs, and associated ground control equipment as part of the maritime demonstration program.

Two Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems’ business areas — Unmanned Systems, San Diego, Calif., and Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems, Bethpage, N.Y. — will perform the work under this contract.

As the prime contractor for Global Hawk, Unmanned Systems will modify two Global Hawks and integrate the maritime system for the demonstration under
an amendment to the current Air Force low-rate initial production
contract. Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems will design and develop advanced maritime payloads, provide mission management functions and develop new ground station and shipboard control systems that are specific to the Navy.

Comment: The award of this contract will be of great interest to the Royal Navy which is currently considering options for the possible deployment of a feet of Global Hawks under current assessment plans for the CVF deployment.

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