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Northrop Grumman Expands Radar Role In Missile Testing

The Radar system was installed aboard the USNS Pathfinder (pictured).
by Staff Writers
Reston VA (SPX) Nov 20, 2006
Northrop Grumman is growing its role as a provider of range radar support to the U.S. military. This fall, the Northrop Grumman-developed C-band radar for the U.S. Navy participated in the successful test of the Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) system, marking the first time a Navy Strategic Systems Program radar has been used by the U.S. Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to optimize data collection and enhance mission success.

This test adds to Northrop Grumman's ongoing success using this extremely mobile radar, year-round, to collect data on Navy ballistic missile tests in both the Pacific and Atlantic Test Ranges. As a trusted supplier of transportable large-dish radars, Northrop Grumman has demonstrated the ability to rapidly relocate large radar systems worldwide to remote land locations and aboard sea-based platforms on demand.

The GMD test is one such example of the company's ability to bring a radar on-line to a sea-based platform in a short timeframe. Within three weeks of a request for additional assets, Northrop Grumman -- under the direction of the U.S. Navy Strategic Systems Program Office -- relocated the Navy Mobile Instrumentation System (NMIS) C-Band radar from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to California and installed the radar system aboard the Navy ship USNS Pathfinder. The ship was then positioned approximately 600 miles off the coast of California to track the interceptor flight.

"This disassembly, ground transport, reassembly and installation of the Northrop Grumman developed radar aboard the USNS Pathfinder within a three week window demonstrates Northrop Grumman's ability to respond to rapid real-world situations requiring high performance discriminating radars," said Frank Moore, vice president of the Northrop Grumman Missile Defense Division. "The valuable data collected from this additional radar asset will further enhance MDA's ability to thoroughly analyze system performance and build confidence in future flight tests."

The radar successfully tracked the GMD interceptor from the point it broke the horizon, throughout separation and intercept. Data is being combined with information from other sensors to provide a thorough analysis to MDA of all aspects of the test to make adjustments to ensure future mission success.

The NMIS C-band radar is an instrumentation radar used normally for data collection and Navy missile testing, under contract to Navy SSP. The company has also developed mechanically steered radars to support major U.S. weapons test and evaluation programs for the U.S. Navy, where Northrop Grumman is a primary provider of block upgrades.

The GMD test occurred on Sept. 1 and involved launching a ground-based interceptor from Vandenberg Air Force Base (VAFB), Calif., against a target missile launched from Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska. While the primary objectives of the test were to demonstrate and evaluate the interceptor launch and to characterize the end-game performance of the exoatmospheric kill vehicle as it approached the target, the interceptor successfully impacted and destroyed the target.

As a primary supplier of missile defense technology, Northrop Grumman plays a key role in all phases of our nation's layered missile defense system. Northrop Grumman's domain expertise delivers essential capabilities and technologies that integrate functions across all elements of the ballistic missile defense system. Programs such as the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, Space Tracking and Surveillance System, Defense Support System (DSP), Joint National Integration Center, the chemical laser portion of the Airborne Laser System, fire control capability for the Ground-based Midcourse System, and payload for the Space Based Infrared High system, are several of the contributions the company is making to the nation's missile defense efforts.

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India Tests Nuclear-Capable Surface Missile
Bhubaneswar (AFP) India, Nov 19, 2006
India Sunday successfully tested a nuclear-capable ballistic missile from a test range in the eastern state of Orissa, defence sources said. The test of the Prithvi-1 missile took place at the Chandipur-on-sea test site about 200 kilometers (125 miles) northeast of Orissa's state capital, Bhubaneswar. The missile was test-fired from a mobile launcher at 9:55 am (0425 GMT) Sunday, the sources said.

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