U.S. Navy shipboard electronics experts needed a scalable suite of electronic warfare, information operations, and line-of-sight shipboard communications on naval surface warships. They found their solution from the Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems segment in Linthicum, Md., and Northrop Grumman partner ITT Corp. Radar, Reconnaissance and Acoustic Systems division in Van Nuys, Calif.
The Northrop Grumman/ITT team won an initial $18 million contract worth a potential $109 million from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va., for the Integrated Topside (InTop) program to consolidate the number of advanced RF antennas aboard surface warships to increase communications bandwidth, as well as resolve electromagnetic interference/electromagnetic compatibility issues caused by the large number of antennas on today's Navy ships.
Northrop Grumman is prime contractor, and ITT will provide key support. Both companies are specialists in sophisticated shipboard radar, communications, and electronic warfare systems. Northrop Grumman announced the contract this morning.
The Integrated Topside (InTop) is an Innovative Naval Prototype (INP) program that will develop a scalable family of electronic warfare (EW), radar, and communications capability to support several classes of Navy warships other Navy platforms. InTop will use a modular/open RF design to dominate the RF spectrum and create affordable, scalable systems.
InTop plans to reduce the number of topside apertures on Navy ships by using integrated, multi-function, multi-beam arrays. A growing number of antennas aboard today's surface combatants has led to problems with Electro-magnetic interference (EMI), radar cross section (RCS) and the overall performance of shipboard electronic warfare and communications.
InTop builds on previous ONR work on multi-beam, multi-function apertures capable of simultaneously supporting EW, communications and radar functions in two separate transmit and receive arrays.
"InTop is a game changer for the Navy," says Steve McCoy, vice president of the advanced concepts business unit at Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems. "It is intended to improve ship survivability by providing counter measures to anti-ship missiles more effectively, making this a critical asset to the warfighter."
Northrop Grumman and ITT will do the work at the company's engineering and manufacturing center in Linthicum, Md., and ITT's Radar, Reconnaissance, and Acoustic Systems division in Van Nuys, Calif.