Navy asks Northrop Grumman to upgrade intelligence broadcast avionics aboard E-2D aircraft
PATUXENT RIVER NAS, Md. – Military avionics experts at Northrop Grumman Corp. are upgrading the intelligence communications system aboard the U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye carrier-based airborne early warning aircraft under terms of a $7.6 million order announced Tuesday.
Officials of the Naval Air Systems Command at Patuxent River Naval Air Station, Md., are asking the Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems segment in Melbourne, Fla., to resolve differences between separate versions of the E-2D's intelligence communications systems hardware and software.
The order involves separate generations of the Embedded National Tactical Receiver (ENTR) from the L-3 Technologies Telemetry & RF Products segment in San Diego. ENTR receives Integrated Broadcast Service (IBS) UHF satellite communications (SATCOM) signals via direct-to-digital RF processing.
IBS is an important information management and dissemination system for U.S. military and intelligence authorities, and integrates several intelligence broadcasts into one system of systems. That approach seeks to alleviate problems of several incompatible "stovepipe" intelligence and information broadcasts by providing one integrated tactical information picture.
Northrop Grumman, the prime systems integrator for the Navy E-2D aircraft, will carry out preliminary testing and identify integration differences between different ENTR versions -- the ENTR V2, and the Universal Serial Bus (USB) ENTR V4 for the E-2D. Northrop Grumman also will update the system's tactical receiver segment software to the latest version.
The small-form-factor L-3 USB ENTR simultaneously receives and processes four channels of IBS UHF SATCOM signals, which can be configured between IBS-Simplex and Common Interactive Broadcast (CIB).
The channel scheme can be reconfigured dynamically without interfering with operations. USB ENTR provides isolation between channels to preclude mutual interference, and can interface with any host with a USB port, including desktop and laptop computers.
USB ENTR interface software is compatible with mainstream message processing and control software, L-3 officials say. It is software-programmable to allow improvements by upgrading the firmware or software.
USB ENTR can be used in intelligence and operation centers, in aircraft from tactical to support, mobile and maritime environments, as well as dismounted and special operations applications.
It features receipt of near real-time intelligence; battlefield and situational awareness; threat assessment data; targeting and retargeting information; as many as four channels of reception, dynamically configurable between CIB and IBS-Simplex; software controllability; embedded decryption; USB interface; user-installability; embedded firmware and software upgradeability via electronic media; and is crypto-programmable.
On this order Northrop Grumman will do the work Melbourne, Fla., and in Patuxent River, Md., and should be finished by September 2018. For more information contact Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems online at www.northropgrumman.com, L-3 Telemetry & RF Products at www2.l3t.com/trf, or Naval Air Systems Command at www.navair.navy.mil.
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