Northrop Grumman Installs, Begins Flight Testing New Radar Test Units on B-2

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

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