Northrop Grumman wins Global Hawk sensor suite repair contract

SAN DIEGO, 17 May 2010 The U.S. Air Force selected Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC) to provide the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft program with an interim repair capability for its integrated sensor suite (ISS) and the enhanced integrated sensor suite (EISS).

May 17th, 2010

Posted by John McHale

SAN DIEGO, 17 May 2010 The U.S. Air Force selected Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC) to provide the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft program with an interim repair capability for its integrated sensor suite (ISS) and the enhanced integrated sensor suite (EISS).

The interim repair line, which will be separate from the current production line, will be located and operated at Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems (SAS) in El Segundo, Calif. Raytheon SAS is partnered with Northrop Grumman to provide the EISS imaging system for the Global Hawk Block 20 and 30 systems. The sensor interim repair line will be the first dedicated repair facility to be established by the U.S. Air Force for Global Hawk, and will improve the availability of the critical ISS and EISS components in support of increased operations tempo, company officials say.

The ISS deployed on Block 10 Global Hawks demonstrated the value of the wide area, high-resolution imagery from its synthetic aperture radar and its visible and infrared electro-optical camera. The EISS will improve on the ISS capability with a more than 50 percent increase in range and resolution. As a result, the Air Force is predicting that combatant commanders will require Block 30 Global Hawks to fly many more hours than had been previously planned, Northrop Grumman officials say. In addition, the new interim repair capability provides an important bridge to a fully independent depot-level repair program for the Global Hawk system.

Global Hawk flies autonomously at altitudes of more than 60,000 feet, above inclement weather and prevailing winds, for more than 32 hours at a time. The original advanced concept technology demonstration Global Hawks deployed overseas to the Persian Gulf less than two months after Sept. 11, 2001 with the original ISS. Since then, Block 10 Global Hawks have been flying nearly continuously, supporting combat operations in the region. The Block 30 systems, capable of carrying 50 percent more payload and providing more than twice the electrical power, will carry simultaneously both the EISS made by Raytheon plus the Advanced Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP) made by Northrop Grumman. Block 30 aircraft are scheduled to begin operations with the U.S. Air Force at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and at several overseas locations in Europe and the Pacific, this year.

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