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Northrop Grumman Urges Multinational Approach On Missile Defense

By | June 12, 2006

      Northrop Grumman Corp., the third-largest defense contractor, called for a multinational effort on some missile defense programs, including a shield against short- and medium- range threats.

      The company made its pitch at a conference, the Association Aeronautique et Astronautique de France (AAAF) International Conference on Missile Defence last week in Seville, Spain.

      Northrop has a stake in the matter, leading a team competing for the NATO Active Layered Theater Ballistic Missile Defense (ALTBMD) systems engineering and integration (SE&I) contract.

      As well, the U.S.-based company is partnered with EADS, a pan-European company, and Indra, the leading defense and information technology company in Spain.

      Northrop Grumman described its goals for the conference. It would:

      • Demonstrate the company’s Ballistic Missile System International Simulation, a modeling and simulation tool used to assess performance of proposed command-and-control architectures, procedures and decision timelines by employing various concepts in a wargaming environment
      • Chair and moderate two sessions: command, control and battle management communications and international and European cooperation
      • Chair and moderate two sessions on Interceptors Systems

      “In concert with the [U.S.] Missile Defense Agency, Northrop Grumman is ever increasing its overseas presence when it comes to missile defense, and in close cooperation with our two partners Indra and EADS, we intend to continue that expansion,” said Frank Moore, Northrop executive lead for the NATO/Europe missile defense collaboration.

      “This conference will showcase our partners in the SE&I pursuit–EADS and Indra.”

      Moore sees ALTBMD SE&I as a means for Northrop Grumman to gain entrée to the European missile defense market.

      “ALTBMD SE&I is important because it sets up the baseline architecture for a missile defense structure in Europe, and we’re coming out to demonstrate our team’s capabilities and commitment to run that program for NATO,” he said.

      ALTBMD SE&I will link the assets of NATO member nations into a multi-layered system that will protect deployed alliance forces against short- and medium-range ballistic- missile attack.

      The winning team for the NATO contract also will design and operate an integration test bed in Europe that will help NATO prepare member nations assets for inclusion into this unified theatre ballistic-missile defense system. Award of the contract is expected in the third quarter.

      “We’ve chosen to keep our team smaller, more nimble and more closely knit to better serve our customer,” Moore said. “In doing so, we can react rapidly to our customer’s changing needs, more efficiently share ideas and lessons learned, and work as a unified team.”

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