11/26/2007 - PALMDALE, CA -- Northrop Grumman
Corporation has completed the installation,
integration and initial flight testing of the first
developmental test units (DTU) of the new radar
antenna developed for the B-2 stealth bomber's radar
modernization program (RMP).
The availability of the new antenna -- an active
electronically scanned array designed and built by
Raytheon (NYSE:RTN) -- will allow the Northrop
Grumman-led B-2 industry team to complete the
comprehensive RMP flight test program interrupted last
year by integration issues with the antenna.
Northrop Grumman is the U.S. Air Force's prime
contractor for the B-2, the flagship of the nation's
long range strike arsenal.
"The delivery and installation of the DTUs is a major
milestone for the RMP program," said Dave Mazur,
Northrop Grumman's B-2 program manager and vice
president of long-range strike for the company's
Integrated Systems sector. "It demonstrates not only
the technical maturity of the highly complex radar
itself, but also the ability of the B-2 industry team
to identify and resolve technical issues in a
positive, collaborative manner."
According to Mazur, the installation of the two DTUs
on the B-2 test aircraft establishes a configuration
that is electrically equivalent to the production
radar units planned for the program. "Now we can
continue the development, integration and testing of
this critical new radar system," he said.
Northrop Grumman is conducting the RMP flight tests
on a B-2 designated AV-3 based at Edwards Air Force
Base, Calif. The first flight test with the DTUs was
completed on Oct. 30, and demonstrated substantially
improved antenna performance. Flight testing with the
two new antennas will continue through early 2008.
Northrop Grumman will install two
production-representative radar antennas in the B-2
test aircraft early next year. Known as development
units (DU), these antennas -- also produced by
Raytheon -- will incorporate minor hardware changes
unrelated to radar performance. The DUs will support
the final radar development, integration and testing
activities leading up to the RMP production program,
expected to begin in 2008.
Source: Northrop Grumman Press Release