Northrop Grumman to Begin Next Phase of Modernizing B-2 Defensive Systems
Technology Development Approach Reduces Costs, Schedule for Fielding Bomber
PALMDALE, Calif., Feb. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman
Corporation (NYSE:NOC) will help drive down costs and speed the availability
of new hardware and software upgrades for the B-2 stealth bomber under a
recently awarded contract from the U.S. Air Force.
The contract covers Technology Development (TD) Phase 2 of a multiyear effort
by Northrop Grumman to modernize the B-2's defensive management system (DMS).
TD Phase 2 is expected to last approximately three years.
DMS is an electronic warfare system that includes various antennas and display
processors. Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2,
the flagship of the nation's long-range strike arsenal.
"TD Phase 2 is the cornerstone of a rapid acquisition initiative that Northrop
Grumman and the government developed to reduce B-2 DMS modernization costs and
accelerate the availability of the latest technologies for the aircraft," said
Lauren Stevens, director of the company's B-2 DMS modernization integrated
product team. "Instead of relying on new hardware and software development,
our initiative takes advantage of mature, proven technologies. It minimizes
nonrecurring costs, and reduces the time and technology risks associated with
fielding new capabilities."
DMS modernization includes a new avionics graphics processor being developed
by Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training, Owego, N.Y.; and new
antennas, which are being developed by L3 Randtron, Menlo, Park, Calif., and
Ball Aerospace, Boulder, Colo.
Northrop Grumman serves as the B-2 system integrator and developer of the
architecture that determines how the aircraft responds to threat environments.
In this role, the company will integrate all new DMS hardware and requisite
software onto the jet.
"The DMS upgrades demonstrate how Northrop Grumman is using innovation and
thoughtful engineering to address and fulfill key affordability goals of the
Department of Defense," explained Ron Naylor, director of B-2 Modernization
and Transformation for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "They also help
ensure that the B-2 will remain the nation's most survivable and most
effective long-range strike system for dealing with sophisticated enemy
TD Phase 2 of the DMS modernization program will include continued development
and testing of the hardware and software for the new systems; evaluation,
down-select and awarding of the contract for the new DMS antennas; and
preparation by Northrop Grumman and its suppliers for the next phase of DMS
modernization, known as engineering, manufacturing and development (EMD).
As part of its plan to reduce costs and fielding schedules, Northrop Grumman
accelerated forward into TD Phase 2 many significant engineering tasks
normally conducted during EMD. EMD is expected to begin in late 2014.
The B-2 is the only long-range, large-payload U.S. aircraft that can penetrate
deeply into access-denied airspace. In concert with the Air Force's air
superiority fleet, which provides airspace control, and the Air Force's tanker
fleet, which enables global mobility, the B-2 can help protect U.S. interests
anywhere in the world. It can fly more than 6,000 nautical miles unrefueled
and more than 10,000 nautical miles with just one aerial refueling, giving it
the ability to reach any point on the globe within hours.
The latest B-2 product news and information from Northrop Grumman is available
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative
systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber security, C4ISR,
and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers
worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
CONTACT: Brooks McKinney, APR
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