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17 Sep 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE:NOC – News) California Microwave Systems (CMS) will serve as the aerial sensor integrator for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) program. The lead systems integrator (LSI) team of The Boeing Company (NYSE:BA – News) and Science Applications International Corporation selected CMS, a business unit of Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector, for the task. (See BOEING DEVELOPS FCS PARTNERING).

“Being chosen to conduct the source selection, procurement and systems integration for the Army’s future UAV sensor requirements validates California Microwave Systems as a center of excellence for low-cost, quick-react integration,” said Tom Lupica, director of California Microwave Systems.

With key contributions from other Electronic Systems units and from Northrop Grumman’s Information Technology sector, CMS will provide systems engineering, modelling and simulation, management, design support, and test of the suite of air-based sensors during the system development and demonstration phase of the program. In addition, the company will support the LSI in developing, maintaining, and improving the overall intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance concept for FCS and ensure that the various sensors operate as an integrated system that is more powerful than the sum of its components.The integrated sensors will perform the surveillance, reconnaissance and target acquisition functions onboard the FCS unmanned aerial platforms. Linked by advanced fusion software, they will provide the airborne eyes and ears that will enable the force to “see and hear first.”

Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems, Integrated Systems, Information Technology and Mission Systems sectors serve as either prime contractors or subcontractors on 10 of the program’s 21 concept and development teams. The teams’ work is expected to lead to initial production and operational capability phases by the end of the decade.

Comment: The selection of Northrop’s CMS segment for FCS strengthens Northrop’s hand as the ‘integrator of choice’ for a number of key US and overseas systems. This selection will strengthen the company’s UK Watchkeeper bid where some observers are suggesting that the company is looking at General Atomics for it UAV solution in preference to the Ruag Ranger UAV.

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