Northrop Grumman Plays Critical Role in Successful Missile Defense Test
The company's battle management and launch control software successfully perform during test
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Dec. 13, 2005 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) battle management software and launch control equipment, developed for the U.S. Missile Defense Agency's ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) system, successfully performed tonight during Flight Test 1. These systems play a vital role in launching the ground-based interceptor and orchestrating the overall engagement sequence.
Northrop Grumman's Mission Systems sector is responsible for designing and deploying the critical battle management -- or GMD fire control/communications (GFC/C) -- software products and the command and launch equipment (CLE) software under contract to The Boeing Company.
Flight Test 1 involved launching a ground-based interceptor from the Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands at 10:04 PM EST, against a simulated target missile threat. The primary objective was to demonstrate and evaluate the interceptor launch and the exoatmospheric kill vehicle separation and performance, although successfully exercising the battle management, command-and-control and launch operations procedures were also critical to today's success.
"From the moment the ground-based interceptor is emplaced, through the entire engagement sequence, Northrop Grumman's software and hardware products play a critical role in effectively delivering weapons on target," said Frank Moore, vice president of Northrop Grumman Mission Systems' missile defense division. "Our experienced team continues to deliver this sophisticated software system on cost and on schedule, while adapting to meet the enhanced capabilities of the GMD system. We look forward to continuing our support for MDA's defensive capability, and to increasing our leadership role in developing the battle management capability for the global layered missile defense architecture."
The GFC/C products orchestrate the components of the GMD element of the nation's midcourse missile defense program 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/C, 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.
Today's test objectives also included evaluating and exercising the divert capability of the exoatmospheric kill vehicle. This objective was highly dependent on the successful transmission of in-flight target updates from Northrop Grumman's GFC/C products.
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems personnel in Huntsville, Ala. develop the GMD products, with additional development sites in Colorado Springs, Colo., Melbourne, Fla., and Anaheim, Calif., where employees work on the CLE software. More than 600 people are employed on this project at these four locations. Northrop Grumman's GFC/C products have performed successfully in every test to date and were recognized in 2003 and 2005 with a CMMI Level 5 Rating from the Software Engineering Institute for best practices in software development and systems engineering. For more information about Northrop Grumman's role in missile defense, go to www.northropgrumman.com/missiledefense.
Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, Va., is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets. The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; command and control; technical services; and training.
CONTACT: Marynoele Benson Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (703) 741-7723 Marynoele.firstname.lastname@example.org