Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has signed a long-term agreement with Norway-based Kitron AS to supply subassembly electronic modules for F-35 Lightning II aircraft avionics. The agreement is effective through June 30, 2036, and includes rights for future extensions.
Northrop Grumman developed the Communication, Navigation and Identification (CNI) avionics for the F-35, a fifth-generation, international, multirole fighter and the world's most advanced military aircraft.
The first F-35A Lightning II for Norway is scheduled for delivery September 22.
"Northrop Grumman is committed to developing a cost-effective and technically superior source that would provide the best value for the F-35 CNI program," said Jeannie Hilger, vice president, network communication systems, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "We established a cooperative, supportive relationship with Kitron and forged this agreement to formalize our partnership."
Northrop Grumman's integrated CNI suite provides F-35 pilots with the capability of more than 27 avionics functions including voice and data communication. The CNI design uses advanced software-defined radio technology that allows the simultaneous operation of multiple critical functions while greatly reducing size, weight and power demands on the advanced fighter aircraft.
"The CNI system is critically important to the F-35 and provides the aircraft with its ability to be integrated into the wider battlespace," said Andrew Tyler, chief executive, Europe, Northrop Grumman. "This agreement will further strengthen the deep partnership with Norway that we have built up over the years and which dates back to 1940."
For more than a decade, the United States, Norway and seven other partner nations have invested in developing the F-35. In addition to the nine partners, three countries have agreed to procure F-35 aircraft through the Foreign Military Sales process.
Northrop Grumman also recently awarded Kitron a four-year, $2.5 million contract to develop a test program set (TPS) for evaluating and troubleshooting F-35 avionics. The TPS equipment consists of complex Interface Test Assemblies that work with the LM-STAR test system developed by Lockheed Martin, the F-35 prime contractor.
"This agreement affirms Kitron's position with Northrop Grumman as an important partner and supplier of complex electronic modules and technical services including test development, as well as a source for repair of avionics for the Joint Strike Fighter," said Hans Petter Thomassen, managing director of Kitron AS.
As a principal member of the Lockheed Martin-led F-35 industry team, Northrop Grumman performs a significant share of the work required to develop and produce the aircraft. In addition to developing and producing the CNI system, Northrop Grumman produces the center fuselage; designed and produces the AN/AAQ-37 Distributed Aperture System sensor and the aircraft's radar and electro-optical subsystem; develops mission systems and mission planning software; leads the team's development of pilot and maintenance training system courseware; and manages the team's use, support and maintenance of low-observable technologies.
Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)
Date: Sep 22, 2015