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Northrop Grumman awarded $64 mln UK defence contract

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RAF's Sentry E-3D Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft. Photo: UK RAF.

HERNDON, VIRGINA (BNS): The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) has awarded a $64 million contract to Northrop Grumman Corporation for the design and development of an upgraded airborne defense system used by the agency's Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft.

The Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) Interrogator programme is used by the Royal Air Force Air Command at Waddington, a base in Lincolnshire, England.

The IFF interrogator is a sophisticated airborne defence system that provides a long-range, rapid early warning and detection capability allowing discrimination between friendly and hostile forces and is used in the RAF's Sentry E-3D Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

"This modernisation programme will maintain compliance with future global air traffic management requirements," Tom Vice, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Technical Services, was quoted as saying in a company news release.

Work will be performed under Northrop Grumman's existing Sentry E-3D Whole Life Support Program (WLSP) and elements of the work were considered for buy or build and subsequent competitive subcontracts. It will be the largest modification the company has carried out to date for the Sentry aircraft fleet and will help maintain their compliance with future global air traffic management requirements.

Northrop Grumman is on contract until 2025 to support the Sentry aircraft. The company acts as the design organisation, providing long term UK-based technical support to the programme with 50 engineers located at RAF Waddington.

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