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July 2, 2019 | International, Aerospace

Northrop Grumman Receives $104 Million Contract for UH-1Y, AH-1Z and UH-60V Aircraft Mission Computers

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. – July 1, 2019 – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has received a $104 million indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) award for the technical refresh of UH-1Y, AH-1Z and UH-60V mission computers. The IDIQ contract covers delivery of production units, retrofit units and spare units for the Marine Corps, Defense Logistics Agency and the government of Bahrain under the Foreign Military Sales Act.

This contract brings together multiple mission computer customers, driving greater value, cost efficiency and a reduced logistics footprint. Under the IDIQ, the Navy may issue task or delivery order awards up to the ceiling amount specified in the contract. Work under the contract is set to conclude in 2023.

“Northrop Grumman’s mission computer delivers mission critical capability to the warfighter,” said James Conroy, vice president, land and avionics C4ISR, Northrop Grumman. “The system provides improved situational understanding in the rapidly changing threat environment.”

The mission computer integrates advanced mission, weapons and video processing capabilities into a high-performance airborne computer capable of driving independent, multi-function displays. Its trusted, open architecture provides centralized display and control of all integrated avionics system functions. The mission computer brings improved capability, commonality, reliability and maintainability to the warfighter.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, C4ISR, space, strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

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  • Six considerations from the Defense News Top 100 list

    August 19, 2020 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Six considerations from the Defense News Top 100 list

    By: Byron Callan  As usual, the annual Defense News Top 100 rankings shed light on changes in the defense sector, while raising additional questions for all interested parties. The rankings among U.S. firms have been relatively stable, with the primary catalyst for several years worth of change being acquisitions or divestitures. The U.S. order will again change in next year’s edition, when Raytheon Technologies appears as a single entity for the first time. Defense News added Chinese enterprises in 2019, and so it’s good to see this extended in 2020, as China has the second largest defense budget in the world after the U.S. This year’s list raises six points worth highlighting, while observing how relative rankings have changed over time. First: These lists are difficult to compile, as they depend in large part on the willingness of contractors to provide sales data. There are some omissions, which hopefully could show up in future rankings — notably, BWX Technologies, SpaceX, General Atomics, Mantech, Parsons and Kratos for the U.S.; more Japanese firms including Kawasaki Heavy Industries; Navantia of Spain and other European naval shipyards; United Aircraft in Russia; ASC Pty in Australia; and PGZ in Poland. There are other Indian firms as well that would likely qualify. Second: It is intriguing to note how long either Lockheed or its successor Lockheed Martin has been the No. 1 U.S. contractor. It’s been at the top of the Defense News list since 2003, and data from annual reports show it has been the top U.S. contractor, by sales, since 1980. Size may matter in perpetuating a No. 1 position, so it is notable that the ratio of Lockheed’s defense sales to the second-largest contractor has also increased over the years. For this year’s list, Lockheed’s defense dollars are 165 percent of Boeing’s defense sales; in 1988, they were 130 percent higher than the next largest defense contractor, McDonnell Douglas. Third: As much as it’s easy to categorize contractors by their home country, it bears repeating that this a global, multinational business with international sales not just from exports. A look at the Australian defense industry highlights the “multi-domestic” nature of contractors in that country. BAE Systems is listed as a U.K. company, but it derives higher annual sales from the U.S. and Saudi Arabia than from London. And in 2019, Israeli firm Elbit had more of its total sales from North America (28 percent of total) than Israel (24 percent of total). Fourth: While the rankings don’t capture the changes in the composition of some of the largest contractors, this may have a bearing on competition in the 2020s. CACI and Leidos still are predominantly services contractors, but some of their recent acquisitions, most significantly the Leidos acquisition of Dynetics, are more product-centric. Fifth: Obviously the rankings only capture the top level of the global defense sector, and in assessing supply chains, resiliency, the pace of innovation and technology ingestion, a far wider net has be cast. A July 2020 report by Israel’s INSS observed that Israel’s defense industry, which has seen consolidation in recent years, is comprised of “about 600 companies” and employs over 45,000 workers. Much as the rankings of the top contractors are of interest, a more critical assessment of the health and agility of contractors may rest on what’s happening with smaller firms. Finally: The question of state, private or public ownership is a sixth factor to weigh. State ownership of Chinese firms and partial government stakes in some of the largest European enterprises has entailed different incentives and goals — it’s hard to conclude, given the nature of China’s rise, that government ownership of contractors has stymied the development and production of competitive weapons systems, though there’s little transparency on efficiency. In the 2020s, it remains to be seen how different and competing ownership shapes future rankings. Byron Callan is a policy research expert at Capital Alpha Partners. He specializes in the defense and aerospace industries.

  • DARPA Invites Proposals For Active-Flow-Control X-Plane

    August 15, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    DARPA Invites Proposals For Active-Flow-Control X-Plane

    By Graham Warwick DARPA has formally launched a program to build and fly an X-plane designed around active flow control (AFC), potentially eliminating the need for moving control surfaces. Designing from the ground up around AFC, rather than modifying an existing aircraft, is expected to yield performance and operational benefits. A broad agency announcement (BAA) was released on Aug. 12 for the first two of four planned phases of the Control of Revolutionary Aircraft with Novel Effectors (Crane) program. A proposers’ day is scheduled for Aug. 26 and proposals are due to be submitted by Nov. 8. A budget of $21 million is available for multiple awards under the 12-month Phase 0, which will focus on the aircraft design process and understanding the trade space. DARPA expects performers to enter this phase with multiple candidate configurations and flow-control approaches. Each Phase 0 contract will end with a conceptual design review for one or more configurations. Phase 1 will continue to mature up to two concepts and is expected to involve component-level testing and demonstrations to inform a system requirements review. This nine-month phase is planned to culminate in a preliminary design review for the proposed X-plane.  DARPA plans to downselect to one performer at the end of Phase 1 in second-quarter fiscal 2022 and award a contract for Phase 2 detailed design. This is planned to conclude in a critical design review and lead to a go/no-go decision in the second quarter fiscal of 2023 for Phase 3 building and flying of the X-plane. First flight is planned for the third quarter of fiscal 2024. DARPA wants a “tactically relevant scale aircraft,” the BAA says. This may include a “clean-sheet design or modification of an existing aircraft.” The agency expects substantial use of off-the-shelf components for the flight demonstrator so that program resources can be focused on AFC development and testing. AFC modifies the flow field around the aircraft using mechanical or fluidic actuators. The BAA specifically excludes using large external moving surfaces, mechanical vectoring of engine exhaust or other traditional moving aerodynamic control surfaces. AFC applications identified in the BAA include eliminating moving control surfaces for stability and control and improving takeoff and landing performance, high-lift flight, thick-airfoil efficiency and high-altitude flight. Proposers may identify additional applications and benefits. A NATO technical study involving Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems and academic institutes in the U.S. and UK identified that an unmanned combat aircraft with AFC could have stealth and other potential performance benefits during the ingress and egress phases of a strike mission.

  • General Atomics Awarded Contract for Manufacture of Hypersonic Glide Body Prototypes

    October 15, 2019 | International, Aerospace

    General Atomics Awarded Contract for Manufacture of Hypersonic Glide Body Prototypes

    San Diego, CA,  October 14, 2019 - General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) announced today that it has been awarded a contract from Dynetics Technical Solutions (DTS) for the manufacture and production of subassemblies for the Common Hypersonic Glide Body (C-HGB). GA-EMS will provide cable, electrical, and mechanical manufacturing to support DTS’ three year contract award from the U.S. Army Hypersonic Project Office, part of the Army Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office, to produce 20 prototype glide bodies with an option for additional quantities. “We bring expertise in manufacturing highly complex systems, a long standing relationship with Sandia National Laboratories, and prior experience on the Block 0 glide body, to this high priority national security program,” stated Scott Forney, president of GA-EMS. ”Hypersonic weapon systems will provide our nation with the ability to strike strategic targets across the globe. We look forward to working with DTS to deliver this strategically important capability to the warfighter.” “For over a decade, we have been working directly with Sandia National Laboratories to support the research and development of hypersonic weapon systems for the Army and Navy,” continued Forney. “We have provided design analysis, flight test planning and execution, and manufacturing services for ground and flight hardware for the prototype hypersonic glide body that has already completed successful test flights. We are pleased to now play an important role in transitioning this technology from the lab to the field.” GA-EMS will manufacture its portion of the glide bodies at its San Diego, CA, Huntsville, AL, and Tupelo, MS facilities. About General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems General Atomics Electromagnetic Systems (GA-EMS) Group is a global leader in the research, design, and manufacture of first-of-a-kind electromagnetic and electric power generation systems. GA-EMS’ history of research, development, and technology innovation has led to an expanding portfolio of specialized products and integrated system solutions supporting aviation, space systems and satellites, missile defense, power and energy, and processing and monitoring applications for critical defense, industrial, and commercial customers worldwide. For further information contact: View source version on General Atomics:

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