Defence giants to collaborate on aircraft development

Officials from Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Raytheon agreed today to work together in developing the US Air Force’s E-10A Multi-sensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A).

‘We will give the Air Force a best value program by drawing on the legacy expertise each company brings to this exciting new mission,” said Chris Hernandez, Northrop Grumman’s vice president for Air Force Surveillance Programs.

‘We’ve worked hard to build an agreement that will provide commanders with the most responsive and technologically advanced ground surveillance and battle management capability in the world at an affordable price,’ added Hernandez.

Increment 1 of the Air Force’s acquisition program for the E-10A provides for an advanced airborne ground surveillance and cruise missile defence capability.

This will use the Northrop Grumman/Raytheon Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar sensor coupled with a Battle Management Command and Control (BMC2) system that is being competed later this year.

Under today’s agreement, Northrop Grumman will be responsible for overall program management and system engineering, mission system design, system integration and flight test, and airframe modification.

Primary responsibilities for Boeing include major structural modification design and kits, air vehicle analysis and performance assessments and airworthiness testing. It is also anticipated that Boeing will be producing the 767-400ER airframe for the E-10A test bed under a separate contract with the US government.

In addition, the Teaming Agreement anticipates that Boeing will take the lead for any Increment 2 analysis and subsequent activities, should the government decide to proceed with an additional increment. Increment 2 is not currently funded, but if implemented, is expected to support Airborne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) with increased BMC2 functionality.

Raytheon’s primary responsibilities include radar and radome installation, the self-protection system, and support to system engineering, system integration and test for the cruise missile defence functions.

The E-10 multisensor command and control aircraft will provide ground – and some airborne-moving target indication, as well as key battle management command and control.