05 Aug 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC – News) Integrated Systems sector has been awarded a $1.9bn contract to begin full System Development and Demonstration (SDD) for the U.S. Navy’s Advanced Hawkeye Airborne Early Warning and Control system.
The Advanced Hawkeye system represents a two-generational leap in radar technology. The system will give the Navy far greater threat detection capabilities over land and water, with greater range and precision than any similar system, current or planned, and will be the foundation for the Navy’s theater air missile defense function. Advanced Hawkeye’s new communications systems will make it a major node in the Navy’s FORCEnet information/decisions grid, enabling it to provide and integrate key information and surveillance data, fuse decision data and provide forward control and communications capabilities.
“The Advanced Hawkeye will provide the enhanced airborne command and control and expanded surveillance umbrella that will be a foundation of SeaPower 21,” said NAVAIR E-2/C-2 Program Manager Capt. Robert LaBelle. “This new platform will be key to the Navy’s role in future military strategy,” added LaBelle.
“The Navy-Northrop Grumman-Lockheed Martin team has been working closely for several years to define key system requirements and reduce development risks prior to SDD go-ahead, and we are very pleased with what the team has achieved,” said Philip A. Teel, sector vice president, Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare (AEW&EW) Systems. “Because Advanced Hawkeye will serve as the primary airborne node in the Navy’s FORCEnet architecture, a successful SDD program is critical to the Navy and ourjoint forces in the future. We have brought together the best in industry to ensure the success of the Advanced Hawkeye program.”
Engineering development and integration work is centered in Bethpage, N.Y., the headquarters of Integrated Systems AEW&EW Systems business area. Two SDD aircraft will be built in Northrop Grumman’s St. Augustine, Fla., facility, with delivery and the start of operational testing scheduled for fiscal year 2007. Initial Operational Capability is planned for 2011.
Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, Syracuse, N.Y., serves as the principal radar system supplier and is teamed with Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Baltimore, Md., and Raytheon Company’s Space and Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif. BAE SYSTEMS, Greenlawn, N.Y., is responsible for the IFF system. L-3 Communications Randtron Antenna Systems, Menlo Park, Calif., is developing the UHF electronically scanned array antenna.
The Advanced Hawkeye will have a new cockpit. Going beyond the single-purpose “glass” cockpits of modern aircraft, Northrop Grumman engineers are designing displays that will allow either the pilot or co-pilot to participate as a fourth mission system operator. Navy operator input has been obtained to guide these designs using the substantial simulation laboratory and demonstration capabilities available to the E-2 program.
Other features of the Advanced Hawkeye include terrain avoidance systems and global air traffic management system enhancements. The SDD program is also focused on reducing production and total operational support costs. For example, some of the structures on current Hawkeyes are built-up from individual sheet metal parts. These structures will be replaced by single-piece machined parts to reduce both cost and time needed to construct the subassemblies and mate fuselages. Two-level maintenance concepts, coupled with automated system test capabilities, are being explored to reduce total ownership costs.
On August 7th, Northrop announced plans to realign businesses within two of its operating sectors that have similar customers, expertise and capabilities, effective Jan. 1. The company said its information technology group will include Northrop Grumman