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US Air Force Awards Northrop Grumman Contract For ICBM Guidance Modernization Program

2006 marks major achievements in ICBM modernization effort
by Staff Writers
Clearfield UT (SPX) Jan 19, 2007
The U.S. Air Force awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $98.7 million contract in December to complete the full-rate production phase of the ICBM Guidance Replacement Program (GRP). This award capped a year of major achievements by the Northrop Grumman ICBM Prime Integration contract team to modernize and keep viable the nation's land-based strategic deterrent.

The GRP program is a key modernization effort aimed at upgrading the guidance system electronics in the Minuteman III ICBM to extend the missile's service life through 2020. Today's final production option was exercised by the Air Force 526th ICBM Systems Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. The total nine-year GRP effort is valued at $1.5 billion for Northrop Grumman and will be complete in February 2009.

In addition to GRP, Northrop Grumman has successfully completed several major ICBM milestones this year, ranging from testing advanced propulsion systems to replacing reentry vehicles to deploying new environmental control systems for the missile. In addition, the company has booked more than $819 million in total contract awards on the ICBM Prime Integration program for 2006.

"The ICBM modernization effort continues to meet commitments and is delivering to the Air Force a strong, safe, and viable land-based strategic deterrent," said John Clay, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman ICBM Prime Integration Contract.

+ In January 2006, Northrop Grumman completed the Propulsion Replacement Program (PRP) restructure effort. The team is successfully moving forward with the remaining options on cost and on schedule. PRP replaces aging solid-rocket motor sets, for stages 1, 2, and 3, in the Minuteman III missile with remanufactured motors to maintain alert-readiness status through 2020.

+ In May 2006, Northrop Grumman and teammate ATK successfully test fired a Minuteman III technology-demonstrator motor, proving that the advanced propulsion concepts being developed for possible insertion into the Minuteman III stage-one motor can greatly improve performance, range and affordability. This effort also helps the Air Force reduce risk in future improvements by proving concepts in advance to ensure successful integration in the future.

+ In October 2006, the Northrop Grumman team began deployment of a replacement Environmental Control System (ECS) for more than 550 U.S. Air Force Minuteman ICBM launch, missile alert, and Class 1 trainer facilities. The ECS regulates climate controls and ensures that electronics and ground support systems are maintained at specified pre-set temperatures in launch control centers and launch facilities. DRS Technologies, Parsippany, N.J., is supplying components for the ECS program.

+ In January 2006 and October 2006, the U.S. Air Force exercised option five and six under the PRP effort, awarding Northrop Grumman a total of $450 million this year to continue the full rate production phase.

+ Also in October 2006, Northrop Grumman supported the U.S. Air Force as it deployed the first Minuteman III missile carrying the MK 21 reentry vehicle, as part of the Safety Enhanced Reentry Vehicle program (SERV). Under SERV, Northrop Grumman is adapting hardware and electronic equipment on the Minuteman III to accommodate the MK 21, recently decommissioned from the Peacekeeper force, and the MK 12A reentry vehicles.

+ December 2006 also marked the delivery of the 500th GRP missile guidance set to the Air Force.

Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's ICBM prime integration contractor charged with modernizing and maintaining alert readiness of the U.S. ICBM weapon system through 2020. The company manages a team consisting of three principal teammates -- Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and ATK - and more than 20 subcontractors.

The Boeing Company, Command, Control and Communications Networks, Anaheim, Calif., produces the missile guidance sets for the GRP program under subcontract to Northrop Grumman Mission Systems sector. Honeywell Aerospace, Defense and Space, Clearwater, Fla., is a subcontractor to Boeing and provides the system's computer.

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IAEA Suspends Some Technical Aid To Iran
Vienna (AFP) Jan 18, 2007
The International Atomic Energy Agency has halted some of its technical aid to Iran following the United Nations' sanctions against Tehran's nuclear programme, the chairman of the agency's board of governors said Thursday. "The (IAEA) secretariat has put on hold, suspended, some projects which are prima facie under the sanctions" imposed in December by the UN Security Council, Slovenian ambassador Ernest Petric, who this year heads the agency's 35-member board of governors, told AFP.

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