Northrop Grumman (NYSE:NOC) won a follow-on and additional task order contracts totaling $69m from the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Research (ONR) for the Navy's Integrated Topside (InTop) program. InTop is an innovative, scalable suite of electronic warfare, information operations and line-of-sight communications hardware and software for use on naval surface platforms. The new suite will reduce the number of multiple topside apertures that naval vessels currently use, increasing bandwidth and resolving electromagnetic interference and compatibility issues caused by the large number of antennas on modern ships.
The $66 million option award on the first contract funds the continued development, fabrication and integration of an Advanced Development Model (ADM) that uses a common, modular, open, and scalable hardware and software approach to perform the functions of electronic warfare, line-of-sight communications and information operations for shipboard application. This option follows a successful $18 million base phase of the ADM project.
A second contract, valued at $3 million includes the development of a low level resource manager and other infrastructural software. The two efforts will run concurrently and the ADM system will be delivered in 2013. Field test of the system is currently planned to take place at the Naval Research Labs Chesapeake Bay Detachment facility near Chesapeake Beach, Md.
The resulting ADM will support the technology development criteria for NAVSEA's Ships Electronic Warfare Improvement Program (SEWIP) Block 3. Technology and elements demonstrated during the InTop program will be directly applicable for the SEWIP Block 3 electronic warfare mission. The ADM system will also demonstrate how multifunction Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) technology can reduce the growing problem of proliferation of topside apertures on U.S. Navy ships. The Task Order 0004 software and infrastructure will align with the NAVSEA Product Line Architecture Common Framework which will simplify transition to the fleet.
"InTop leverages Northrop Grumman's expertise and investment in wideband AESA and multifunction radio frequency technology demonstrated in support of the final design review of the 12-month base phase," said Susan Bruce, director of advanced development programs for the company's Advanced Concepts and Technologies Division. "The system uses a modular open systems approach. This allows for ease of integration and continuous technology refresh, which supports the ability of the system to quickly adapt to evolving threats."
InTop is optimizing the use of open architecture, moving the Navy toward its goal of information dominance, while also making upgrades to improve system cost effectiveness and reduce obsolescence.
Northrop Grumman, as prime contractor, will perform the majority of the effort at its engineering and manufacturing center in Linthicum, Md. The company will also perform software development at its Goleta, Calif., facility. The team includes ITT's Radar, Reconnaissance and Acoustic Systems Division in Van Nuys and Morgan Hill, Calif.; ArgonST in Fairfax, Va.; L-3 Narda in Folsom, Calif.; and Crane Electronics in Phoenix, Ariz.