RESTON, Va., June 23, 2008 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has successfully demonstrated the capabilities of a communications intelligence sensor package derived from its Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP) Product Line aboard the U.S. Army's RC-12 Guardrail Aircraft.
The demonstration, which was successful on the first try, took place the week of Feb. 11 at the Lakehurst test bed facility in New Jersey and was performed under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) between Northrop Grumman and the Army. Northrop Grumman met all objectives demonstrating basic Guardrail requirements and exceeded sensor system stability and performance expectations.
"The success of these test flights is an important milestone in modernizing the Guardrail fleet. It mitigated program development risks by leveraging the U.S. Air Force's investment in ASIP and validated ASIP scalability in meeting the U.S. Army's signals intelligence needs," said Imad Bitar, vice president of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector's Electromagnetic Systems Laboratory business unit.
ASIP was originally developed as the Air Force's modern signals intelligence payload for deployment on the U-2 and Global Hawk platforms. Through internal research and development, Northrop Grumman created an ASIP Product Line that fully leverages the Air Force's investment, eases the addition of modern signals and enhances the scalability (size, weight and power) of the sensor to satisfy signals intelligence requirements across multiple platforms, including the RC-12 Guardrail.
Guardrail is being significantly upgraded and enhanced under the Army's Guardrail Modernization program to include, among other things, an ASIP Product Line payload. Guardrail Modernization will extend the fleet's operational life beyond 2020 while expanding the system's ability to exploit evolving threats and serving the Army's signals intelligence needs.
The CRADA RC-12 flight tests were conducted with an ASIP Product Line payload scaled and optimized to address critical Guardrail mission needs. These flights demonstrated intercept and direction finding capabilities through the integration of an ASIP Product Line payload, a new Global Positioning System-enabled inertial navigation system and existing antenna arrays.
"The CRADA test flights demonstrate that the ASIP Product Line can be easily and effectively configured to meet new customer requirements," said Mike O'Brien, Northrop Grumman airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance area director. "Flight test results provided solid evidence that transitioning technology from the ASIP program can be low-risk and cost-effective, resulting in products with high technology readiness levels."
The success of the CRADA demonstration effort is a shared accomplishment of the Army's Aerial Common Sensors project management office and Northrop Grumman's Reston, Va., and Woodland Hills, Calif., facilities.
Source: Northrop Grumman's Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload Product Line Flies On Army Guardrail Aircraft
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