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By Julian Nettlefold, Editor BATTLESPACE

In February 2007, Northrop Grumman Corporation opened a new UK office facility and advanced technology demonstration centre in Fareham, Hampshire. The new facility, formally opened by Jerry Agee, president of Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems sector, will provide improved accommodation for the company’s Mission Systems Europe subsidiary and will include a state-of-the-art collaborative demonstration environment for planning, modelling and simulation of its advanced technology systems.

“After four years of successful growth in the UK, we have taken the next step in our plan for continued expansion and invested in our most prestigious site to date in Europe,” said Paul Davison, vice-president and managing director of Northrop Grumman Missions Systems Europe. “This new UK facility will enable us to offer a new portfolio of military and civil security products and services, increase our presence across Europe and serve our customers more effectively.”

It was an interesting statement from Paul Davidson that the Facility will be ‘a commitment in the U.K. not to the U.K.’ This indicates that Northrop like many other U.S. Companies may be looking to Europe as the centre of Defence spending not the U.K. in future years.

Graham Thornton, vice-president of business development for Northrop Grumman UK added, “This new facility represents an important resource for Northrop Grumman and our customers in the UK. The Defence Industrial Strategy emphasises the need to build UK-based technical capability and opening this facility is further progress towards Northrop Grumman achieving that aim. It will significantly broaden and enhance our ability to support our UK customers.”

The Fareham facility will enable Northrop Grumman to demonstrate its range of advanced technology systems for strategic to tactical military command and control, border security, urban resilience and critical infrastructure protection.

Northrop Grumman’s Mission Systems Europe is providing software and support services to NATO C3 Agency for the Maritime Command and Control Information System programmes and to the UK MoD and other international customers.

Mike Rowntree of Northrop told BATTLESPACE that, “Northrop’s main thrust in the U.K. is to form Partnerships with other companies offering Northrop’s key C2PC software. Northrop will in effect lease software to its customers providing automatic upgrades as part of the contract.”

One of the key tasks of this new facility will be to model scenarios with other Companies’ Laboratories under the Niteworks contracts. NITEworks has come in for some criticism in that it is not providing the data required to develop new systems. The BAE BMEC is one part of Niteworks which is in effect a management facility placing contracts with contractors. The ability to model in the security of a wholly-owned laboratory and be networked to others solves the current IP problems plaguing Niteworks.

Northrop also demonstrated software integration on its Sperry Electronic Bridge system which can integrate C4I systems into its current Bridge systems.

The major thrust was the provision of advanced C4I systems for the various layers of command, including the demonstration of the Swedish Security Alliance system which allows the complete networking of all Agencies involved in Terrorist and Disaster management.

Northrop Grumman in the UK operates from five primary locations: Fareham, Coventry, New Malden, Peterborough and Solihull providing avionics, communications, electronic warfare systems, marine navigation systems, robotics, C4I and mission planning, IT systems and software development. Northrop Grumman established its UK corporate office in London in early 2006.

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