Northrop Grumman Grows Sensor, Comms Offerings

By Allyson Versprille
Northrop Grumman is investing more resources into its command, control, communications, computers, intelligence and reconnaissance (C4ISR) products, executives told National Defense.

The threshold for success on the battlefield has changed throughout history, said Ron Foudray, vice president of business development for Northrop’s information systems. Today the key question is, “Who has superior information?” That question “has really driven us to where we are with our C4ISR apparatus,” he said.

However, attaining that advantage comes with challenges, the executives said.

“I think the broadest challenge is going to be access, and therefore contesting in all of the main domains” — land, sea, air, space and cyber, said Steve Goldfein, vice president of business development for electronic systems. Adversaries can contest in all of those different domains, which makes “everything more difficult to do,” he said.

Northrop is focusing on integrating U.S. and allied technologies to give warfighters access to the most accurate and precise information to combat enemy threats, the executives said.

“We don’t build everything, but what we’re extraordinarily capable of doing is integrating,” Goldfein said.

The company’s Citadel enterprise battle command system is an example of integrative technology. Citadel is the commercial variant of the Army’s integrated air and missile defense battle command system (IBCS), which is currently being fielded.

It consists of a unique set of software algorithms that allow a user to take any existing sensor — such as an Aegis radar or a Patriot sensor system — and pull data from it, integrate it and decide in real-time which counter weapon system should be engaged against a particular threat, Foudray said.

The system allows the user to employ resources smartly, he added. “You just don’t want to be throwing up multi-million dollar missiles at a deadweight target that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars to build.”

Citadel was first unveiled at the 2015 International Defense Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi. The executives said the system is currently coming to market.

Topics: C4ISR

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