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Northrop Grumman Awarded DOD Honor for Electronic Protection Achievements

November 17, 2010
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Baltimore, MA-- A joint   Northrop GrummanCorp.  and U.S. government team today received the 2010David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award for the developmentand demonstration of a quantum leap in electronic protection(EP) performance against enemy jammers by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighterradar. 

 The award was presented by Deputy Secretary of Defense William Lynn;Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technologyand Logistics Ashton Carter; and Vice Admiral David J. Venlet, program executive officer for the F-35 Lightning II Program, at the Program Executive Office, Systems Command Conference at the Fort Belvoir Officer's Club.

  "Bringing combat capability to the battlefield in a quick and effective-- but low risk -- manner sometimes requires novel approaches inacquisition, which was the case in terms of requirements, design andtesting processes for the F-35's AN/APG-81 active electronicallyscanned array radar," said David Bouchard, director of F-35 SensorPrograms at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "In regard toelectronic protection, previous acquisition processes were not agileenough to meet the kinds of threats warfighters experience in thecontemporary battlefield, particularly with the advent of digital radiofrequency memory-based electronic warfare systems.

 "With the F-35, we approached the challenge in a holistic manner,applying a disciplined system engineering process in order to defineeffective and affordable electronic protection specifications for theradar,” he continued. “We would not have been successful without all the help we received across a very talented joint government and industry team."

The electronic protection project team included participation from theF-35 Joint Program Office, a Program Executive Officer (PEO) programreporting to the Office of the Secretary of Defense with Navy and AirForce leadership, and Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector.

During the Northern Edge 2009 joint training exercise, the F-35 teamsuccessfully demonstrated the AN/APG-81 radar's EP performance on atest-bed aircraft against numerous aircraft, radars and jammingsystems. Northern Edge involved hundreds of aircraft and naval ships ina realistic combat environment.

  The David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award is established torecognize Department of Defense civilian and/or military organizations,groups, or teams who have made highly significant contributions whichdemonstrated exemplary innovation and best acquisition practices. TheF-35 radar EP team was one of three 2010 David Packard Excellence inAcquisition Award recipients.

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Charles J. Hellier has been active in the technology of nondestructive testing and related quality and inspection fields since 1957. Here he talks with Quality's managing editor, Michelle Bangert, about the importance of training.
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