Northrop Grumman’s MQ-8 Fire Scout rotary-wing unmanned air vehicle is gearing up for a new at-sea deployment in January, sailing aboard the frigate USS Simpson as it moves closer to U.S. Navy operational evaluation next Spring.
The U.S. Army has fielded four of 14 planned RC-12X Guardrail signals intelligence (Sigint) aircraft with sensor packages from Northrop Grumman. Three more of the modified Beechcraft King Air turboprops will be delivered by early next year, with the balance by the first quarter of 2013, the company said.
The Cessna Citation Ten will feature a new hybrid fiber-optic inertial/GPS navigation system developed by Northrop Grumman subsidiary Litef.
BAE Systems named Northrop Grumman its manufacturing partner to offer the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer System (AJTS) for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X jet trainer requirement. Northrop Grumman built the T-38C Talon jets that the T-X will replace.
The U.S. Navy awarded a development contract to Northrop Grumman to upgrade the AN/AAQ-24 large aircraft infrared countermeasures (Laircm) system on CH-53D/E and CH-46E helicopters with a multifunction advanced warning sensor (ATW).
The U.S. Army and Navy will coordinate their requirements for a future unmanned medium-range helicopter, officials said at the Unmanned Systems North America conference last week in Washington, D.C. Such has been the interest in unmanned VTOL systems that programs and requirements seem to have proliferated, leading to potentially duplicative and costly developments.
The U.S. Army is expected to award technology development contracts next month for a modular, lightweight infrared countermeasures system to defeat shoulder-fired missiles. BAE Systems, ITT Exelis, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon are the announced competitors for the Common Infrared Countermeasures (CIRCM) requirement.
Major aircraft and engine manufacturers have formed an organization called the International Aerospace Environment Group, chaired by Boeing, with the goal of establishing environmental guidelines for the aerospace supply chain.
ITT Corp. will spin off its defense segment into a standalone business–ITT Exelis–later this year. The new company will be based in McLean, Va., and led by David Melcher, currently president of ITT Defense and Information Solutions, as CEO. The company’s 2011 revenue is estimated at $5.8 billion. Christopher Bernhardt will continue to lead the Electronic Systems unit in Clifton, N.J.
The Orion Air Group upped its profile by displaying a Gulfstream IISP modified as an R&D testbed at the Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford, UK, in mid-July. The privately held U.S.-based group was founded about three years ago, and generated nearly $200 million in 2010 from special mission and corporate aircraft services. The latter are marketed under the Tempus Jets name.