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Northrop Grumman receives $372 mln contract from USAF

Northrop Grumman to develop advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna system for B-2 Bomber.

PALMDALE (BNS): Northrop Grumman has received a a $372 million contract from US Air Force for the designing of the advanced electronically scanned array (AESA) antenna system, which is a part of the Increment 2 of the B-2 extremely high frequency (EHF) satellite communications programme.

The new antenna system will enable the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber to send and receive battlefield information securely by satellite up to 100 times faster than it can today.

Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's prime contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's long range strike arsenal and one of the world's most survivable aircraft.

Under the contract, the company will develop the preliminary design of the AESA antenna system, demonstrate technology readiness and prove its functionality using hardware prototypes. Increment 2 is the largest effort ever undertaken to augment the lethality of the B-2 weapon system.

The three-increment EHF Satcom programme is part of an ongoing effort by the Air Force and Northrop Grumman to keep the B-2 fully mission capable against evolving enemy threats.

Increment 1 includes enhancements to the aircraft's processing and communications infrastructure. Increment 2 involves installation of a new communications terminal and the AESA antenna.

Increment 3 will integrate the B-2 into the US Department of Defence's Global Information Grid, a worldwide network of information systems, processes and personnel involved in collecting, storing, managing and disseminating information on demand to war-fighters, policy makers and military support personnel.

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