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AFA Recap on B-21 Raider Program and Progress


At last week’s Air and Space Forces Association’s Air, Space and Cyber Conference, Air Force and DoD leadership discussed the B-21 program in terms of effective program management, production readiness and early integration of sustainment elements as foundational to the effective delivery of operational capability.


Additionally, the U.S. Air Force announced Northrop Grumman has commenced engine runs on the B-21, a significant milestone in the aircraft’s ground test program. While the B-21 first flight will be a data driven event closely monitored by Northrop Grumman and the U.S. Air Force, key programmatic decisions and strategies are placing the program in a positive position moving forward.


Here's a recap of the discussions and themes from the show held at National Harbor.

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Production representative aircraft

One key to the overall program strategy established from the outset was to build a production representative first test article. Rather than a prototype, the first B-21 Raider test article has been built with rigorous production processes on the same manufacturing line with equal tooling that will be utilized to continue shaping the B-21 fleet. Unique to aircraft development programs, the first B-21 test article is equipped with its primary mission systems such as communications and navigation systems.


The decision to build a highly representative test vehicle will allow Northrop Grumman and the Air Force to conduct a robust flight test campaign and pull discovery left, in alignment with the program’s execution strategy from the outset.


“The B-21 program is a prime example of how industry can be a capable partner in providing systems that meet critical needs, efficiently. The first test aircraft was built by our technicians using factory production processes; we’re doing that learning and refining in parallel, which will enable us to get to stable and steady production more quickly,” said Tom Jones, sector president for Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems.


Sustainment influencing design

Beyond focusing on production in the early stages of the program, the B-21 program took sustainment into account during the design phase. In addition to driving efficiency over the long term, this approach also yields more near-term benefits.


“Given Northrop Grumman’s focus on sustainment early in development, the B-21 is much further along on tech data than we would typically expect on a new program at this point,” said Doug Young, vice president and division general manager, Northrop Grumman Aeronautics Systems. “Development of content such as product support, materiel readiness and training is well underway, giving B-21 a head start on support and sustainment operations ahead of delivery to the user community.”


Proven digital model fidelity


Developed with a digital thread over the program life cycle, the B-21 Raider utilizes the latest in digital tools and capabilities from design to development and test, and ultimately in sustainment. This focus on the B-21 digital ecosystem coupled with investment in labs and testing facilities has allowed the Northrop Grumman team to digitally model B-21 performance prior to physical movements or needs.


As the B-21 undergoes various ground tests, digital models are outperforming industry standards with twice the accuracy. This is evident in initial testing with the first test article performing as expected; testing of the engines, weapons bay doors, landing gear and control services demonstrated expected results and indicates the effectiveness and value of digital modeling.


Defining sixth-gen capability

The B-21 Raider is the world’s first sixth-generation aircraft, backed by decades of expertise in stealth technology and optimized for the high-end threat environment. With its open architecture and application of cloud technology, the B-21 Raider is built for seamless incorporation of software upgrades and new capabilities. Northrop Grumman has already demonstrated the B-21 will be capable of integrating third party technology, supporting the program’s utmost focus on modernization and need to keep the weapon system on the leading edge of future threats.


The program’s novel approach to program execution coupled with effective application of digital technologies demonstrates a focus on delivering exceptional capability, effectively and efficiently.


 

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Australia Commits to Additional MQ-4C Triton


Northrop Grumman Australia also selected to deliver in country maintenance for the Triton program sustainment contract


CANBERRA, Australia – Sept. 20, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) will produce an additional MQ-4C Triton multi-intelligence uncrewed aircraft for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) following the Australian government’s decision to provide funding. The contract award will bring the total fleet size in Australia to four aircraft. Additionally, Northrop Grumman Australia has been selected by the Australian government to maintain the Triton fleet from two locations: RAAF Edinburgh, South Australia, and RAAF Tindal, Northern Territory.

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“The addition of a fourth aircraft will enhance the resilience of the fleet and will provide superior surveillance capability to monitor and protect Australia’s maritime interests 24/7,” said Christine Zeitz, chief executive and general manager, Australia & New Zealand, Northrop Grumman. “We are committed to keeping Australia safe and this sovereign surveillance capability will not only contribute to, but also significantly enhance a wide range of missions.”


Triton will help Australia meet its security challenges by providing maritime monitoring of the vital sea lanes in the Indo-Pacific. These systems will have a vital role to play not just as sensors, but also as communication platforms that can facilitate the transfer of data across warfighting domains and various mission needs.


The Australian Tritons already under contract are progressing as planned through their production schedules. The inaugural flight of Australia’s first MQ-4C will occur later this year at Northrop Grumman’s Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center in California. This will mark a major production milestone in the delivery of the first aircraft to Australia in 2024.


Northrop Grumman Australia will establish a dynamic support environment for progressive delivery of capability systems into Australia. This includes establishment of ground stations into RAAF Edinburgh and air vehicles into RAAF Tindal. Northrop Grumman Australia is building a highly qualified and capable Australian workforce across both locations to leverage the extensive knowledge and experience of Northrop Grumman in supporting U.S. Navy Triton operations.


Australia is part of the Triton cooperative program and is contributing to shaping the requirements of the system. Together, U.S. and Australian defence forces will be able to share data collected by their respective Tritons, a critical ability in one of the world’s most strategically important regions.


 

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Northrop Grumman To Provide New Strike Missile Capability for Fifth-Generation Aircraft and Beyond


U.S. Air Force Selects Company to Develop and Test Advanced, High-Speed, Air-to-Ground Stand-In Attack Weapon


LOS ANGELES – Sept. 25, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) announced today the U.S. Air Force has awarded the company an approximately $705 million contract to deliver the Stand-in Attack Weapon (SiAW), an air-to-ground weapon that accelerates the pivot to a new generation of air power.


  • During the next 36 months, Northrop Grumman will further develop the weapon, conduct platform integration and complete the flight test program for rapid prototyping in preparation for rapid fielding. Work will be performed at the company’s Northridge, California facility and its factory of the future for missile integration at Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in West Virginia.


Expert:

Susan Bruce, vice president, advanced weapons, Northrop Grumman: “Northrop Grumman’s SiAW delivers on the Air Force’s desire for its first digital weapons acquisition and development program. With our expert digital engineering capabilities, this next-generation missile represents an adaptable, affordable way for the Department of Defense to buy and modernize weapons.”

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Details on SiAW and Phase 2 Development:

SiAW is an air-to-ground weapon that will provide strike capability to defeat rapidly relocatable targets as part of an enemy’s anti-access/area denial environment. To adapt to ever-changing threats, the missile design features open architecture interfaces that will allow for rapid subsystem upgrades to field enhanced capabilities to the warfighter.


Phase 2 development is a continuation of the Air Force requirement for this first-of-its-kind Middle Tier Acquisition large weapon program focused on digital engineering, Weapon Open System Architecture and agility. The Air Force is targeting an initial operational capability by 2026. Phase 2 consists of two primary increments:

  • Phase 2.1 concludes with a guided vehicle flight test.

  • Phase 2.2 concludes with three additional flight tests and the delivery of SiAW leave-behind prototype missiles and test assets.

The development of SiAW is part of Northrop Grumman’s broad offerings in advanced weapons, including armaments, components, missiles, electronics and interceptors to defeat and deter threats.


 

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Northrop Grumman Delivers Rocket Booster Segments for NASA’s Artemis II Mission​


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PROMONTORY, Utah – Sept. 26, 2023 – (PHOTO RELEASE) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) delivered twin solid rocket booster segments to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The boosters will help power NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket for the Artemis II mission and are the first element of the SLS rocket to be stacked on the mobile launch platform in preparation. The boosters will provide 7.2 million pounds of thrust at launch.


 

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Northrop Grumman Successfully Powers US Navy’s Trident II D5 Flight Tests​


MAGNA, Utah – Oct. 2, 2023 – Powered by Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) solid rocket motors, one Trident II D5 Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM) was successfully flight tested as part of the U.S. Navy’s Demonstration and Shakedown Operation 32 (DASO-32) event.

  • The Navy exercise, known as DASO 32, demonstrates the readiness of the USS Louisiana (SSBN-743) crew and certifies the submarine for deployment.

  • Successful results from the exercise increases the D5 SLBM test record to 191 successful launches with no motor failures.

  • Some motors that supported the unarmed flight test were the oldest Trident II D5 motors flown to date – demonstrating their reliability and proven performance.

  • In partnership with the U.S. Navy and prime contractor Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman is modernizing and digitizing Trident II D5 manufacturing processes, including the implementation of advanced digital models, to further enhance manufacturing and enable sustained production for future demand.

Expert:

Wendy Williams, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman: “Northrop Grumman’s strategic motors have provided propulsion success for 191 successful test launches since their deployment to the fleet. That is the kind of performance the Navy has come to rely upon to meet national defense readiness with Northrop Grumman solid rocket motor technology to power the Trident II Submarine Launched Ballistic Missiles.”


 

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Northrop Grumman To Modernize Cockpit and Mission Solutions for E-2D Advanced Hawkeye



MELBOURNE, Fla. – Oct. 3, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) was awarded a contract by the U.S. Navy to evolve the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye cockpit and computing architecture with Delta System Software Configuration 6 (DSSC 6) through 2028.

  • DSSC 6 modernization includes Hawkeye Cockpit Technology Refresh and Theater Combat ID.

  • Once fielded, the new open mission systems architecture of DSSC 6 will enable rapid integration of new capabilities, including non-proprietary applications from industry partners.

  • Entire Navy fleet will be retrofitted with updated cockpit, navigation technologies and mission systems, beginning in 2029 and throughout the 2030s.


Expert:

Janice Zilch, vice president, multi-domain command and control programs, Northrop Grumman: “Northrop Grumman has a long partnership with the U.S. Navy on the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye program to ensure with this fleet modernization that we continue to outpace evolving threats into the 2040s and beyond, with this proven airborne battle management command and control aircraft.”


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Northrop Grumman to Develop New Guided Ammunition for the US Navy​


PLYMOUTH, Minn. – Oct. 4, 2023 – The U.S. Navy has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) a development contract for the company’s newly designed 57mm guided high explosive ammunition. Designated for use with the Mk110 Naval Gun Mount, the company will test and mature the munition for qualification.


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The 57mm guided high explosive ammunition has the unique ability to continuously maneuver in-flight as it moves toward a designated target. Designed to defend against fast moving surface threats, drones and swarming threats, the guided 57mm ammunition features an on-board seeker to acquire moving targets and a fuze with the ability to self-select for either proximity or point-detonation mode to best engage and defeat the intended target.


“Our new 57mm guided ammunition is truly innovative in its ability to identify, track and guide itself to a target,” said Dave Fine, vice president, armament systems, Northrop Grumman. “The Navy will gain a greater capability to defend against moving threats and a new level of accuracy to defeat them.”


As the newest addition to Northrop Grumman’s advanced ammunition portfolio, the 57mm round leverages the company’s expertise in guided munitions, such as the Precision Guidance Kit. Utilizing seekers and an aft-maneuver system, the round provides continuous trajectory guidance no matter how often the target may pivot. This new guided ammunition will give the Navy greater stand-off range and a cost-effective solution against small, fast-moving threats, without any weapon system modifications.


 

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Northrop Grumman’s Integrated Battle Command System Tested In Homeland Defense Scenarios


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Oct. 9, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NYSE: NOC) Integrated Battle Command System (IBCS) defended the National Capital Region against simulated cruise missile and compromised aircraft in a series of recent demonstrations, an evolution of technical capabilities for the system.



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As the cornerstone of the U.S. Army’s efforts to modernize air and missile defense, IBCS now has shown its data-centric extensibility to take on additional missions including homeland defense, as it has proven through previous rigorous testing of its ability to defend the warfighter.

  • During the first two demonstrations, IBCS’ open architecture allowed the rapid integration of existing Army and Air Force sensors and effectors, such as Sentinel, Avenger and National Advanced Surface-to-Air-Missile System (NASAMS).

  • Through the concluding demonstration, soldiers from the 263rd Air and Missile Defense Command used IBCS and the Joint Track Management Capability to integrate Navy sensor information to significantly extend the defended area across the National Capital Region.

  • These successful demonstrations further prove IBCS’ ability to unify sensors and shooters to decide the best action to out-pace and defeat complex threats.

Expert:

Rebecca Torzone, vice president and general manager, combat systems and mission readiness, Northrop Grumman: “IBCS is continuously showing its ability to unify all available sensors and shooters. Through the recent National Capital Region demonstrations, IBCS proved its capabilities in providing homeland defense against cruise missiles and other aerial threats. IBCS is ready now to take on the tomorrow’s threats.”


 

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Northrop Grumman to Create Constellation of Connectivity for Air Force Research Laboratory


SAN DIEGO – Oct. 12, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is working with the Air Force Research Laboratory to integrate commercial space internet into airborne platforms, advancing connectivity for warfighters and supporting the Department of Defense (DoD) vision for Joint All-Domain Command and Control.


This capability will:

  • Enable the warfighter to securely share data and synchronize operations within milliseconds around the world.

  • Use open architecture, configurable systems to rapidly integrate into airborne platforms and ground vehicles.

  • Provide affordable options for resilient connectivity using commercial space internet constellations across multiple orbits.

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Experts:

Jenna Paukstis, vice president, communications solutions, Northrop Grumman: “Achieving decision dominance across domains is essential for the warfighter. We are at a pivotal moment to build a diverse network using commercial space internet that can be used on any platform globally.”


Dr. Brian Beal, principal aerospace engineer, Strategic Development Planning and Experimentation Office, Air Force Research Laboratory: “We need communications that will be available for the warfighter in any environment. This program will accelerate these technologies onto many platforms across the joint force because that’s how we fight and that’s how we want to operate.”

Details:


This Defense Experimentation Using Commercial Space Internet will provide the DoD with affordable, resilient solutions capable of operating in low earth orbit, medium earth orbit and geostationary earth orbit.


Northrop Grumman’s open systems processors and antenna solutions will be tested as part of this contract award to bring beyond line-of-sight capabilities to air and ground forces.


 

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Advancing Survivability for Army Aircrews – A Generational Leap in Threat Detection Technology


Since their introduction, Man-Portable Air Defense Systems – heat-seeking, shoulder-fired missiles – have been a persistent threat to U.S. Army aviation. Infrared countermeasures, such as Northrop Grumman’s Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM), are highly effective at protecting warfighters from these threats. But CIRCM and similar systems can defeat only what they can see, and its missile warning sensors are critical to survivability. These “eyes of CIRCM” may be the unsung heroes of the countermeasure world, detecting and identifying supersonic missiles almost instantaneously.


Northrop Grumman’s next-generation missile warning sensor (MWS), the Advanced Tactical Hostile Engagement Awareness (ATHENA), provides a generational leap in threat detection capability.


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ATHENA is a staring sensor, always on and keeping an eye out for threats. Setting ATHENA apart are its significant increases in resolution and processing power. In operational terms, these advances translate to additional time for warfighters and survivability systems to address threats and greater maneuverability. ATHENA is also able to detect threats beyond infrared guided missiles, including hostile fire and anti-tank guided missiles.


“The longer range and resolution of ATHENA will give warfighters an additional margin of safety in contested airspace,” said Dennis Neel, program director, Northrop Grumman.


A smarter sensor

Aside from sharper vision, ATHENA is also a smarter sensor. Onboard processing provides actionable information instantly while preserving mission computing resources for other functions. This processing power, combined with advanced software that is updated easily to address changing mission requirements, allows for additional survivability capabilities.


One of these capabilities is full spherical situational awareness. Using the multiple sensors on a standard installation configuration, the individual video feeds are seamlessly stitched together. Operators and passengers can view any point in 360 degrees around the aircraft, even “looking through” the aircraft floor.


“ATHENA exemplifies our approach to sensors, using available hardware to perform multiple functions and missions. This increases rotary wing aircraft survivability and provides situational awareness capabilities previously available only on much larger aircraft,” said Neel. “It has the potential to make any aircraft significantly more survivable. Bringing warfighters home safely is the ultimate goal.”


Unparalleled missile warning expertise


Northrop Grumman has manufactured missile warning sensors since pioneering the first infrared countermeasure system. Customers worldwide now use Northrop Grumman survivability systems to protect more than 80 aircraft types. With each generation of CIRCM, the MWS has also grown in capability. ATHENA builds on these innovations to provide next-generation missile warning, survivability and situational awareness capabilities.


 

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Expanded strategic partnership with Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. to supply Airborne Laser Mine Detection System to the Republic of Korea


Expanded strategic partnership with Korea Aerospace Industries, Ltd. to supply Airborne Laser Mine Detection System to the Republic of Korea

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“Our strategic partnership with KAI to bring ALMDS technology to the KMCH program builds on our decades of commitment to deliver advanced solutions that support the Republic of Korea's Ministry of National Defense,” said Janice Zilch, vice president, multi-domain command and control (MDC2) programs, Northrop Grumman.


“The mission of ALMDS is to detect, classify and localize floating and near-surface moored mines rapidly. KAI is convinced that the ALMDS integration will make a significant improvement to the Republic of Korea’s Navy mine detection capabilities. The program will also enhance our strategic partnership with Northrop Grumman in the defense domain,” said Chang-heon Han, executive vice president, rotary wing division, Korea Aerospace Industries.


ALMDS is capable of untethered day or night operations, which allow it to attain high area search rates. ALMDS also provides accurate target geo-location to support follow-on neutralization of the detected mines.


 

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Northrop Grumman to Train, Sustain US Air Force Home Station for Critical Gateway Technology


SAN DIEGO – Oct. 17, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) was selected by the U.S. Air Force for multiple awards to support the first Battlefield Airborne Communications Node (BACN) home station in the continental United States.


Built on Northrop Grumman’s lineage in delivering end-to-end communications, networking solutions and proven experience keeping fleets flying across the globe, the awards include:

  • Home station activation to establish the BACN ground and payload operations and support at Robins Air Force Base (AFB), Georgia.

  • Training for Air Force personnel to operate the BACN payload and platform.

  • Global sustainment and operations for technology-infused contract logistics support for worldwide deployment of both the platform and the BACN payload capabilities, including associated support equipment.

  • Modernization with Ka-Band SATCOM upgrades overseas which will enable new missions for the warfighter, enhance command and control beyond line-of- sight to nearly global coverage and provide highly resilient communications with increased bandwidth and quality of service.​

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Expert:

Jenna Paukstis, vice president and general manager, networked information solutions, Northrop Grumman: “We view the activation of the BACN home station as a testament to the operational relevancy and strategic capability of our gateway technology. This is the next step in delivering persistent battlespace command and control for the U.S. and its allies.”


Details on BACN:


The BACN E-11A provides a high-altitude, airborne communications gateway that translates and distributes voice and tactical data from disparate elements to enhance situational awareness, communications and coordination for joint warfighters operating across all domains.


Most recently, Northrop Grumman delivered the first BACN E-11A to its new home at Robins AFB.


Since the platform’s first deployment in 2008, Northrop Grumman delivered six BACN payloads and provided around-the-clock support to maintain readiness for BACN E-11A operations spanning more than 223,000 combat and non-combat flight hours.


 

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Northrop Grumman and LIG Nex1 to Collaborate on Electronic Warfare Systems for Korea



SEOUL – Oct. 18, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and LIG Nex1 signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition 2023 (ADEX 2023) to collaborate on airborne electronic warfare and targeting systems for the Republic of Korea.

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Expert:

Dong Ha, chief executive, Northrop Grumman Korea: “This agreement with LIG Nex1 builds on Northrop Grumman’s decades of delivering advanced defense solutions to the Republic of Korea.”


Details on Programs:

Northrop Grumman has deep expertise in airborne electronic warfare and targeting systems, including the ALQ-257 F-16 Integrated Viper Electronic Warfare System, the LITENING advanced targeting pod and the APR-39D(V)2 and E(V)2 radar warning receivers. LITENING is a podded, multi-sensor targeting, and surveillance system that empowers aircrew to detect, acquire, auto-track and identify targets at long ranges. LITENING is currently in service with the U.S. Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Air National Guard and international customers.


 

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Northrop Grumman’s Rapid Completion of Critical Design Review Supports Future Missile Warning Satellites in Pacific Region



BOULDER, Colo. – Oct. 19, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully completed a Critical Design Review (CDR) for Relay Ground Station-Asia (RGS-A) for a contract with U.S. Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) Pacific on behalf of the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command to support operation of legacy and future missile-warning satellites.

  • The CDR confirms Northrop Grumman’s ability to transform the existing missile-warning system for a 2025 installation date, 18 months prior to the end of the contract.

  • Northrop Grumman worked with L3 Harris Technologies (NYSE: LHX) to validate the designs during the CDR, which took place only four months after a successful Preliminary Design Review (PDR).The PDR was also completed early.

  • The CDR included various subsystem designs, validation and verification plans and methodology, and final details of the system integration at the deployed location in Guam.

Expert:

Calvin Pennamon, director, operational exploitation systems, Northrop Grumman: “Completing this CDR ahead of schedule showcases our commitment and ability to quickly respond to the NIWC Pacific’s pressing schedule requirements. We are on track to revolutionize current Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) and Next-Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) missile-warning constellation infrastructure with a much-needed capability in the Pacific region.”


Details:


RGS-A is a critical component of the nation’s missile-warning system that will enable the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command to transform the existing missile-warning system with the Future Operationally Resilient Ground Evolution (FORGE) system.


A cornerstone of the FORGE architecture includes developing relay ground stations capable of supporting existing and new satellite constellations with the ability to handle changes in bandwidth and availability.


 

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Northrop Grumman Selected to Deliver Nearly 40 More Data Transport Satellites for Space Development Agency’s Next Generation Low-Earth Orbit Constellation of Connectivity



REDONDO BEACH, Calif. – Oct. 30, 2023 – The Space Development Agency (SDA) awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) an agreement with a total potential value of approximately $732 million to design and build 38 data transport satellites. These satellites will support Tranche 2 Transport Layer – Alpha (T2TL-Alpha), the latest iteration of SDA’s low-Earth orbit Proliferated Warfighter Space Architecture (PWSA).

  • This Alpha announcement follows an August 2023 award to Northrop Grumman of 36 satellites as part of Tranche 2 Transport Layer – Beta (T2TL-Beta); Alpha and Beta satellites are designed to interoperate on orbit.

  • This contract includes supporting ground elements and five years of operations and sustainment with the satellites scheduled to launch starting December 2026.

  • Northrop Grumman was also awarded a contract for Tranche 1 Transport Layer 1 (T1TL), which similarly provide low latency, high volume data transport supporting U.S. military missions around the world.

  • Northrop Grumman’s approach to the PWSA contracts is to combine our satellite technology and mission experience with strategic commercial partnerships to move at the pace the environment demands.


Expert:

Blake Bullock, vice president, communication systems, Northrop Grumman: “Northrop Grumman, in partnership with our industry teammates, is fully committed to the Space Development Agency’s vision of fielding a next-generation, low-Earth orbit architecture connecting and protecting our warfighters wherever they serve. Our Northrop Grumman team is bringing our deep Military SATCOM experience to this mission, and we’re executing on our commitments.”


Details on the Proliferated Warfighter Space Network:

Northrop Grumman provides both space vehicles and ground systems for the SDA’s PWSA, a next-generation constellation in low-Earth orbit. PWSA has two major lines of effort:

  • The Transport Layer: Designed to provide low-latency, high volume data connectivity supporting U.S. military missions around the world.

  • The Tracking Layer: Designed to detect, track and ultimately target hypersonic and ballistic missiles.

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Both layers are designed to interoperate in space using a common data standard allowing satellites made by various manufacturers to communicate seamlessly with one another. Taken together, these satellites are designed to connect elements of an integrated sensing architecture, and the network they create will deliver persistent, secure connectivity, serving as a critical element for Joint All Domain Command Control.


To date, SDA has announced awards to Northrop Grumman of 132 satellites.


 
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Northrop Grumman Completes Essential Tests for Arctic Region Satellite Communications Program


DULLES, Va. – Nov. 7, 2023 – (PHOTO RELEASE) Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has successfully completed Thermal Vacuum tests on the Arctic Satellite Broadband Mission (ASBM), a two-satellite constellation designed to deliver broadband communications to the Northern polar region for the U.S. Space Force and Space Norway. Each Northrop Grumman-built satellite carries a Ka-band payload for Viasat and X-Band payload for Norwegian Ministry of Defense, as well as the Enhanced Polar System Recapitalization payloads for the U.S. Space Force. ASBM-1 has completed vibration testing with ASBM-2 to follow.


Northrop Grumman is also providing the Control and Planning Segment (CAPS) ground system for this critical capability. CAPS is supporting compatibility testing with the payload and space vehicle segments and interfacing with the Satellite Operations Center (SOC) in Norway. CAPS has completed formal acceptance and turnover and is ready for system activation.


 

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Australia’s First MQ-4C Triton Takes Flight


PALMDALE, Calif. – Nov. 13, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully completed the first flight of Australia’s multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton uncrewed aircraft on Thursday, Nov. 9 at its Palmdale Aircraft Integration Center in California. The flight marks a major production milestone as Northrop Grumman progresses toward delivery of Australia’s first Triton in 2024.

  • Built for the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Air Force, the multi-intelligence MQ-4C Triton is the only uncrewed, high-altitude, long-endurance aircraft performing persistent maritime intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting.

  • The first flight occurred at 11:56 a.m. PST with total flight time of approximately 6 hours and 24 minutes. Airworthiness evaluations, such as engine, flight control and fuel system checks, and basic aircraft handling tests were conducted.

  • In September, the Australian government announced the addition of a fourth aircraft that will enhance the resilience of their fleet and provide superior surveillance capability to monitor and protect Australia’s maritime interests 24/7.

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Northrop Grumman and Rohde & Schwarz Sign MOU to Support Multi-Domain Operations and Interoperability in Europe


BERLIN – Dec. 4, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) and Rohde & Schwarz signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Berlin Security Conference in Germany to collaborate on future resilient communications systems across Europe, including multifunction technologies and upgrades for 5th-to-4th generation aircraft interoperability.


This MOU addresses current and future challenges to connect European and U.S. assets in the air, ground, sea and space domains and establishes a framework that enables the parties to:

  • Strengthen technology development for more resilient, trusted secure multifunction capabilities to connect platforms across domains.

  • Enable collaboration on strategic multi-domain connectivity for air-to-air and air-to-ground communications and to integrate with ground-based air defense systems.

  • Develop new opportunities that complement each party’s strengths, delivering best-of-breed solutions in support of Germany’s National Security Strategy, NATO goals and European Union Defence objectives.


 

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Northrop Grumman Successfully Tests a New Solid Rocket Motor Developed in Less Than a Year


PROMONTORY, Utah – Dec. 8, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) successfully conducted a full-scale static test fire of a new solid rocket motor that was developed in less than a year as part of its Solid Motor Annual Rocket Technology Demonstrator (SMART Demo).

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The SMART Demo successfully demonstrated several innovative technologies, alternate manufacturing materials and processes to reduce lead times by 75 percent, including:

  • Several advanced, long-lead tooling products as well as components of the solid rocket motor’s nozzle structure, constructed with additive manufacturing techniques

  • A new cost-effective solid rocket motor propellant capable of operating at cold temperatures

  • Alternative suppliers and new materials that could supplement or replace other long-lead materials experiencing challenged supply chains


Expert:

Wendy Williams, vice president, propulsion systems, Northrop Grumman: “We are designing and building the world's largest and most advanced solid rocket motors, and we’re proving we can do so with shorter lead times, an expanded supply chain and increased agility for our customers.”


Details on SMART Demo
:

SMART Demo shows the effective implementation of new solid rocket motor technologies, materials, and processes to reduce development time and costs and improve motor performance. The efforts include the design, development, build and test of a new solid rocket motor and associated tooling.


Northrop Grumman plans to execute SMART Demo’s annually as the company continues to invest and advance in solid rocket motor development and propulsion. SMART Demo expands and strengthens Northrop Grumman’s supplier base by streamlining the test and qualification of new materials, processes and alternate suppliers who manufacture critical materials that use faster and more efficient processes.


Northrop Grumman is also developing five new motors concurrently for the first time. As the company anticipates significantly expanding and increasing motor production count by 2030, it is constructing 11 new buildings and modifying 16 more to support new and existing programs.


 

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Northrop Grumman Supports End-to-End Missile Defense Demonstration​


CHANDLER, Ariz. – Dec. 11, 2023 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) supported Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA) test of the Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. The FTG-12 test used a stage selectable Ground-Based Interceptor (GBI) missile system against the company’s own air-launched Intermediate Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM) target vehicle, managed by the GMD Ground System and Fire Control to demonstrate enhanced capabilities for the warfighter.



  • During the test, the GMD Ground System processed data from multiple sensors to identify and characterize the inbound IRBM threat, devised a defensive solution and launched the intercepting GMD GBI to negate the threat.

  • This test validated Northrop Grumman’s enhanced capabilities, increasing the performance of the GMD system against the evolving threat.

  • The GMD system is currently deployed in multiple locations and is the first and only operational missile defense system to defend the U.S. against intermediate and long-range ballistic missile attacks.



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Expert:

Scott Lehr, vice president of launch and missile defense systems, Northrop Grumman: “As the threat landscape advances, it’s critical to ensure our homeland defense systems are tested and proven in the event of an attack. This successful test demonstrates we are ready and have confidence in the MDA’s end-to-end missile defense solutions that are deployed today.”


 

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