Business

September 25, 2012

Northrop Grumman completes field installations of new B-2 radar system

The B-2 Spirit of Texas takes off from Palmdale, Calif., upon completion of programmed depot maintenance June 28, 2012.

Northrop Grumman has successfully completed ahead of schedule all field installations of a new radar system for the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of B-2 stealth bombers.
Every operational B-2 is now equipped with the new radar, which was developed for the Air Force’s B-2 Radar Modernization Program. It takes advantage of technology advancements that have occurred since the bomber was originally designed in the early 1980s.

Northrop Grumman is the Air Force’s prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation’s long-range strike arsenal. The fleet of 20 B-2s is operated by the 509th Bomb Wing from its headquarters at Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo.

“Every installation of RMP hardware performed at Whiteman was completed ahead of schedule ñ on average three days early,” said Ron Naylor, director of B-2 modernization and transformation for Northrop Grumman. “We returned every one of those jets to the Air Force anywhere from one to 11 days early.”

The Whiteman RMP installs occurred in two blocks: five were completed during 2009 as part of the program’s system development and demonstration phase. Ten more were completed between the third quarter of 2010 and the first quarter of 2012 as part of the RMP production contract.

“We also beat by six days the program’s installation schedule for the B-2 Spirit of Texas, which was returned to the Air Force from the programmed depot maintenance (PDM) process in late June,” added Naylor. PDM is performed periodically on every B-2 at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif.

Northrop Grumman’s ability to consistently beat the RMP installation schedule can be attributed, in part, to its disciplined planning and execution processes, said Chad Hartmann, the company’s B-2 production program manager.

“We worked actively with the Air Force to identify and purchase long-lead items that were part of our critical production path. That approach helped us ensure a seamless production process,” he said.

Northrop Grumman also used a second advanced procurement process with RMP called a Life of Type buy. Under this approach, the company worked out agreements with the government and RMP suppliers to purchase all the spare parts needed for the anticipated operational life of the system, thereby avoiding future parts obsolescence issues.

Raytheon Space & Airborne Systems, El Segundo, Calif., developed the new radar hardware under contract to Northrop Grumman. It includes an advanced electronically scanned array antenna, a power supply and a modified receiver/exciter.

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.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
LM-F35-hours

F-35 fleet surpasses 15,000 flying hours

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fleet recently surpassed 15,000 flight hours, marking a major milestone for the program.  “Flying 15,000 hours itself demonstrates that the program is maturing, but what I think is e...
 
 

Raytheon awarded first international contract for Paveway IV

Raytheon has received a contract from an international customer for Pavewayô IV precision guided bombs valued at more than $200 million. As part of the sale Raytheon will deliver hundreds of the advanced munitions, which are regarded as the ‘weapon of choice’ for the Royal Air Force. The contract represents the first sale of Pavewayô...
 
 
Northrop Grumman photograph

Northrop Grumman dedicates Aircraft Integration Center of Excellence in Florida

Northrop Grumman photograph Tom Vice, corporate vice president and president, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, addresses the media with, from left, Florida State Sen. John Thrasher, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Rep. Ron DeS...
 

 

Lockheed Martin GMLRS alternative warhead logs successful flight test series, shifts to next testing phase

Lockheed Martin successfully conducted the fifth and final Production Qualification Test for the new Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System Alternative Warhead recently at White Sands Missile Range, N.M. During the long-range test, four rockets were fired from a HIMARS launcher and destroyed their respective targets approximately 65 kilometers away. The test is the final milestone...
 
 

Forecast International expects UAV market to rise strongly through next decade

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan sent unmanned aerial vehicle production to record heights, but with the last U.S. military troops in Afghanistan slated to depart the country this year, the Pentagon’s demand for unmanned air vehicles is slackening. However, while fewer UAVs are expected to roll off the production lines from 2014 to 2023,...
 
 
sikorsky-china

China certifies Sikorsky S-76D™ helicopter

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. announced April 15 that the Civil Aviation Administration of China has issued a validation type certificate for the S-76D™ aircraft, allowing Sikorsky to begin delivering the commercial helicopter  to...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>