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3 Jan 02. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC – news) said that the U.S. Navy has awarded the company a $49m Pre-Systems Development and Demonstration (Pre-SD&D) contract for the E-2C Hawkeye Radar Modernization Program (RMP).

This contract is the beginning of a more than $1bn development effort to deliver unprecedented early warning and battle management capabilities by the end of this decade and is expected to lead to a multibillion-dollar program for production of this next-generation Advanced Hawkeye.

Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Systems sector’s Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare (AEW & EW) Systems business unit, headquartered here, is the prime contractor.

“Our military is transforming itself for the new world environment,” said Philip A. Teel, AEW & EW Systems vice president for Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems. “Real-time information will be one of the war fighters’ primary tools and networks will be the major force multiplier. The Navy’s primary airborne node in its future network-centric structure will be the Advanced Hawkeye which results from this Radar Modernization Program.”

The RMP Pre-SD&D effort will advance the design of the E-2C mission system, which has been researched by Integrated Systems over the past several years. Under the 12-month Pre-SD&D contract, Integrated Systems will define the physical architecture of the next-generation E-2C mission system, produce the preliminary weapon system specification and provide associated program plans.

The development program will integrate a number of new capabilities into the aircraft’s new airborne early warning and control system. The Hawkeye 2000 radar system now in production will be replaced with a new, solid-state, electronically steered UHF radar. This next-generation Hawkeye will also have theater missile defense capabilities. Other improvements will include a tactical cockpit giving the co-pilot the capability to function as a fourth mission system operator; a new communications suite; new generators; improved identification friend or foe system; and an updated mission computer and software.

The development program will also target reducing production and operations and support costs. The full SD&D program contract is expected to be awarded at the end of next year.

Major system teammates include Lockheed Martin Naval Electronics & Surveillance Systems, Syracuse, N.Y.; Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Baltimore, Md.; Raytheon Company, El Segundo, Calif.; BAE Systems, Greenlawn, N.Y.; and L-3 Communications Randtron Antenna Systems, Menlo Park, Calif.

Hawkeye is one of the AEW aircraft being considered for the UK CVF programme and is considered by some as being the front runner.

In addition on January 7th, 2002, Northrop said that the U.S. Navy has awarded the company a $191m contract for an Extended Drydock Selected Restricted Availability (EDSRA) on the aircraft carrier USS ENTERPRISE (CVN 65). Northrop Grumman’s Newport News sector is the prime contractor for this award.

Work during the EDSRA will include routine dry dock work, tank blasting and coating, hull preservation, propulsion and ship system repairs and limited enhancements to various hull, mechanical and electrical systems.

The work will take place at Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth, Va. Northrop Grumman Newport News is coordinating this availability with Norfolk Naval Shipyard which is responsible for a portion of the work to be performed.

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