April 3, 2012

Northrop Grumman conducts air, missile defense radar system reviews

Northrop Grumman has successfully completed two key rounds of program reviews for the U.S. Navy’s Air and Missile Defense Radar program, demonstrating the program is on schedule to meet critical technology development.

The company conducted System Functional Review in late December and Test Readiness Review (TRR) several weeks later. SFR is a multi-disciplined technical review conducted to ensure that the system under review is technically mature enough to proceed into preliminary design. TRR assesses the readiness of the system for testing configuration items.

“These reviews demonstrate that our AMDR is on course to meet the Navy’s anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense needs for decades to come,” said Dave Perry, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman’s Naval and Marine Systems Division. “Northrop Grumman has the experience and skill to deliver the lowest-risk AMDR solution with the lowest total cost of ownership.”

During the SFR, Northrop Grumman demonstrated digital beamforming and advanced tactical software modes using its pathfinder radar with a prototype radar suite controller. The pathfinder system, developed by Northrop Grumman to conduct early testing of critical AMDR hardware and software technologies, was used to successfully detect and track airborne targets. Techniques proven using the pathfinder system will be incorporated in Northrop Grumman’s AMDR design.

“The successful reviews showed that the AMDR design is properly defined to meet the simultaneous performance requirements of anti-air warfare and ballistic missile defense,” Perry said. “The manufacturing schedule is on track and integration and test are ahead of schedule. The system will next enter array-level testing at the company’s near-field radar range within the next few weeks.”

AMDR is a next-generation radar system planned for the Navy’s DDG-51 Flight III. Designed as a scalable, multi-mission radar system, the centerpiece of AMDR is its S-band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar. It is intended to provide unprecedented situational awareness to easily detect, track and engage ballistic missiles in high clutter environments.

Northrop Grumman is working under a $120 million, two-year contract from the U.S. Navy to develop and demonstrate mature technologies required for the AMDR S-band radar and a radar suite controller.

Northrop Grumman brings proven, multi-mission AESA capabilities from its radars flown on the F-22 and F-35 fighter aircraft to the AMDR program. The company is the prime contractor both for the Navy’s AN/SPQ-9B radar and the Marine Corps’ Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar (G/ATOR). Northrop Grumman has also provided the largest S-band AESA ever produced for a maritime treaty verification application to the U.S. government.

The company has delivered more than 500 military and commercial S-band radars that are still in use today, and offers a modular, open architecture approach for AMDR that could scale the radar to multiple classes of Navy ships for decades to come.

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