Northrop Grumman plays key role in successful missile defense - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Northrop Grumman plays key role in successful missile defense

HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 28, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation played
a key role in today's successful intercept test of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's (MDA) round-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system. The company-developed fire control and launch control equipment software effectively launched the system'sground-based interceptor and helped orchestrate the overall engagement sequence.

Northrop Grumman is responsible for designing and deploying key products for the GMD system, including the GMD Fire Control (GFC), In-flight Interceptor Communications System Data Terminal (IDT), Communications Network Equipment, Network System Manager, and Command Launch Equipment (CLE) software. All are under contract to the GMD prime contractor, The Boeing Company.

"I am extremely proud of our team's successful support to this highly critical GMD flight test," said Frank Moore, vice president and general manager of Missile Defense Division for Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector. "Our GMD fire control and launch control products have continually performed on-cost and on-schedule since beginning this development effort more than 10 years ago. Our entire Northrop Grumman missile defense team is committed to providing the best and brightest to support MDA as they continue to deploy an integrated missile defense capability to defend our nation, its allies and deployed forces." 

The GMD flight test, conducted by The Boeing Company and the U.S. MDA, involved launching a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base against a target missile threat fired from a launch complex in Kodiak, Alaska. The primary objective of the test was to engage the target based on radar inputs from the Upgraded Early Warning Radar (UEWR) at Beale Air Force Base and intercept the target with the exoatmospheric kill vehicle. Successfully exercising the fire control and launch operations products were critical to the test's success. 

The GFC products orchestrate the components of the GMD element and provide critical targeting data that guide ground-based interceptors until their on-board sensors acquire their targets. The system's software coordinates sensor and interceptor operations during flight and provides vital decision-support information to combatant commanders. The CLE software, working in conjunction with the GFC, controls the interceptor while on the ground, computes the detailed intercept trajectory and provides it to the interceptor, and at the appropriate time, commands the interceptor's ignition and launch. 

Northrop Grumman personnel in Huntsville, Ala., develop the GMD products, with additional development sites in Colorado Springs, Colo., Melbourne, Fla., and Anaheim, Calif. More than 600 people are employed on this project at these four locations. 

Northrop Grumman's GFC products have performed successfully in every GMD flight test to date and were recognized in 2003 and 2005 with a Capability Maturity Model Integration level 5 rating from the Software Engineering Institute for best practices in software development and systems engineering. 

In addition, Northrop Grumman supported the test through its prime contractor role at the Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center (MDIOC) in Colorado Springs, providing engineering and communications expertise that helped the Mission Control Center Facility and the NORTHCOM Command and Control Battle Management and Communication system (C2BMC) execute the mission. Northrop Grumman engineers also continuously monitored all test execution stages to assess the progress and success of the GMD flight test. 

For more than 12 years, Northrop Grumman has served as the prime contractor at the MDIOC, serving as the principal agent to MDA for developing, integrating, and implementing system level aspects of the nation's Ballistic Missile Defense System (BMDS).  

For more information about Northrop Grumman in missile defense, go to
www.northropgrumman.com/missiledefense

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company with 22,000 employees that provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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