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18 Jun 03. Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC – News) has received a $220m award to expand the integrated communications, navigation and identification (CNI) functionalities for the U.S. Army’s RAH-66 Comanche armed reconnaissance helicopter.

The award increases the Comanche development contract to $428m for the company’s Space Technology sector. The sector’s San Diego-based Radio Systems will develop and incorporate three additional sophisticated communications capabilities for the Comanche’s integrated CNI avionics suite.

“This award will allow us to extend our development of Comanche avionics to support enhanced situational awareness and synchronized operations of all forces,” said Dave Vandervoet, vice president, Radio Systems. “It also leverages our work on the F/A-22 Raptor and F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to further reduce the size and weight of the Comanche integrated CNI avionics.”

Additional capabilities for the Comanche’s integrated CNI avionics

— Enhanced Position Locating Reporting System via the Tactical
— Link 16 — joint-service digital data link for interconnecting
a variety of platforms; and
— Satellite communications — long-range, beyond-line-of-sight

Northrop Grumman’s integrated CNI avionics feature modular, software-programmable radios that simultaneously carry out numerous tasks and dynamically reconfigure functionalities. Northrop Grumman Space Technology’s Comanche package comprises advanced capabilities such as friend-or-foe identification of approaching aircraft, and secure multiwave, multiband, multimode wireless communications. The Comanche development team also includes Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector, based in Baltimore, which supplies the Comanche’s fire control radar, integrated mission computer and target acquisition system software.

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