Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contact to develop an airborne radar system that will improve the US Air Force’s ability to track and identify stationary and moving vehicles and low-flying cruise missiles.
The company will develop, integrate and test the Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program (MP-RTIP) radar under a new six-year, $888 million contract awarded by the Air Force’s Electronic Systems Centre.
The contract marks the beginning of Phase II of the MP-RTIP program, also known as the system development and demonstration (SDD) phase. Northrop Grumman, the MP-RTIP prime contractor, designed the radar during Phase I of the program, a three-year, $410 million effort that began in December 2000.
MP-RTIP is a modular, active electronically scanned array radar system that can be scaled in size for integration on manned and unmanned aircraft.
The US Air Force plans to deploy the radar on its RQ-4B Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance system and the E-10A/Multi-Sensor Command and Control Aircraft (MC2A).
The radar reportedly builds on the capabilities of its predecessors, the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) and Global Hawk, and gives commanders the ability to simultaneously conduct air-to-air and air-to-ground combat missions over a wide geographic area.