Northrop’s Fire Control Products Play Key Role In Successful Missile Defense Test

By on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NOC) command launch equipment (CLE) software effectively launched the ground-based interceptor in today’s flight test of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s (MDA’s) Ground-Based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system.

“Our Northrop Grumman GMD team is committed to supporting MDA as they continue to enhance the integrated missile defense capability needed to defend our nation, its allies and deployed forces,” said Kelley Zelickson, vice president of Air and Missile Defense Systems.

During the GMD flight test, known as CTV-01, a ground-based interceptor was launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., to test changes that have been made to the exoatmospheric kill vehicle.

The CLE software 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.

“The effectiveness of our fire control products were proven again in this latest test, continuing our record of meeting all test objectives,” said Steve Owens, GMD operating unit director for Northrop Grumman and deputy program director for the Boeing/Northrop Grumman GMD team.

Northrop Grumman is responsible for designing and deploying the GMD fire control products, which include the Fire Control System, In-Flight Interceptor Communications System Data Terminal, Communications Network Equipment, Network System Manager and CLE software. Northrop Grumman is a strategic partner, with The Boeing Company, of the GMD team.

Since 1998, Northrop Grumman’s products have met the objectives for all 21 system flight and ground tests. Northrop Grumman has also delivered and installed all 50 of its contracted products on time every time and, since 2001, under budget.

Northrop Grumman personnel in Huntsville and Colorado Springs, Colo., develop the GMD products. Harris Corp., a major teammate in Melbourne, Fla., provides hardware for the in-flight communication system. Approximately 450 people are employed on this project at these three locations and the deployment sites.

Northrop Grumman also supported the test through its prime contractor role at the Missile Defense Integration and Operations Center in Colorado Springs. Company personnel provided engineering and communications expertise that helped the Mission Control Center Facility and the NORTHCOM Command and Control Battle Management and Communication system execute the mission. Northrop Grumman engineers also continuously monitored all test executions to assess the progress and success of the GMD flight test.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide.

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