— Northrop Grumman’s advanced battle management and launch control capabilities successfully performed in the June 22 intercept test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense system.
Northrop Grumman is a strategic partner of Boeing for the GMD program that provides the nation’s only defense against long-range ballistic missiles.
“Our systems serve a pivotal role in effectively delivering weapons on target,” said Dan Verwiel, vice president of air and missile defense systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. “I’m proud of the GMD team’s outstanding execution and continued commitment to help defend this nation against an increasing threat.”
During the GMD flight test, known as FTG-06b and conducted by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency and the Boeing/Northrop Grumman team, a ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., against a target missile threat fired from a launch complex in the Marshall Islands.
Northrop Grumman’s GMD fire control system integrated data from the space-based infrared sensor with data from an Aegis SPY radar and the Sea-Based X-band radar to help identify, track and ultimately destroy the target. The company’s in-flight interceptor communications system provided target-track updates to the kill vehicle to ensure a hit. In addition, Northrop Grumman’s command launch equipment effectively launched the interceptor.
“We used available sensor data to execute the best engagement solution to guide the kill vehicle for target intercept. Our fire control products continue to demonstrate their reliability for engaging a threat,” said Mark Thornton, GMD deputy program manager for the Boeing/Northrop Grumman team.
Northrop Grumman is responsible for designing and deploying the fire control capability for GMD, which includes the fire control system, in-flight interceptor communications system data terminal, communications network equipment and system managers, and command launch equipment. All are under contract to the GMD prime contractor, The Boeing Company.
Over the course of the GMD program, these systems and products have met every objective for all 23 system flight and 17 ground tests. Northrop Grumman has also delivered and installed all of the more than 50 contracted products on time every time and, since 2001, under budgeted costs.
Northrop Grumman personnel in Huntsville and Colorado Springs, Colo., develop the GMD products. The hardware for the in-flight communication system is provided by Harris Corp., a major teammate in Melbourne, Fla. Approximately 500 people are employed on this project at these three locations and the deployment sites.
Northrop Grumman also supported the test through its prime contractor role at the Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center and participation in the Lockheed Martin-led Missile Defense National Team providing software development and test execution in the Command and Control Battle Management and Communication system. Company personnel at the MDIOC provided engineering, flight test execution, and communications expertise that helped the Mission Control Center Facility and the C2BMC System Test Operational Center monitor and assess the progress and success of the GMD flight test. In addition, C2BMC provided communication connectivity for the Aegis ship to GMD fire control system and situational awareness for the test mission.