U.K. Ministry of Defence selects Northrop Grumman for Mode S upgrade to identification friend or foe systems on Sentry E-3D AWACS aircraft

LONDON, 15 Nov. 2010. Northrop Grumman Corp. won a contract from the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) to design, develop, integrate, test, and support the Mode S upgrade to the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Interrogator for the Sentry E-3D Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft based at Royal Air Force (RAF) Waddington.

Posted by Courtney E. Howard

LONDON, 15 Nov. 2010. Northrop Grumman Corp. won a contract from the U.K. Ministry of Defence (MoD) to design, develop, integrate, test, and support the Mode S upgrade to the Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Interrogator for the Sentry E-3D Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft based at Royal Air Force (RAF) Waddington.

The IFF interrogator set is an airborne defense system that provides long-range rapid early warning and detection capability allowing discrimination between friendly and hostile forces. The Mode S system will enable the aircraft to be used in controlled airspace. The contract modification for Mode S is valued at approximately 42.7 million pounds Sterling (or nearly $69 million) over three years.

Work will be performed under Northrop Grumman's existing Sentry E-3D Whole Life Support Programme (WLSP) and elements of the work were considered for buy or build and subsequent competitive subcontracts. It will be the largest modification the company has carried out to date for the Sentry aircraft fleet and will help maintain their compliance with future global air traffic management requirements.

"The Sentry WLSP is one of the largest single programmes that Northrop Grumman has in the UK," says Sir Nigel Essenhigh, U.K. chairman of Northrop Grumman. "This award not only confirms our commitment to the U.K., but also demonstrates the continuing success of the joint working relationship that we have with the MoD in delivering best value for money."

The work will be carried out at RAF Waddington, U.K., as well as at Northrop Grumman's facilities in Herndon, Va., Warner Robins, Ga., and Melbourne, Fla.

"This project is extremely significant for the continuing role of our AWACS platform," says Sandy McGregor, Sentry project team leader. "I am very pleased with the total team effort shown by the Sentry Project Team and our prime contractor Northrop Grumman to agree to this project."

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