Northrop Grumman to Develop Software That Predicts Equipment Failures

Falls Church, Virginia, UNITED STATES


BETHPAGE, N.Y., Dec. 5, 2000 (PRIMEZONE) -- A Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) team led by its Integrated Systems Sector (ISS) has won an Air Force contract to develop software that will better diagnose problems and predict failures in systems aboard legacy aircraft, including F-16's, F-15's and C-130's. The Predictive Failures & Advanced Diagnostics (PFAD) for Legacy Aircraft contract is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity award worth up to $9.4 million over five years, with funds allocated on a delivery-order basis.

The new technology will "front end" existing diagnostic tools. PFAD will better diagnose faults and predict failures in hardware such as radar, power-generation, and fuel subsystems. The Air Force expects PFAD software to substantially reduce subsystem life-cycle costs and increase the availability of its combat aircraft, which are now being deployed at unprecedented rates.

"We've worked successfully in this area over the past 10 years on aircraft ranging from the E-2C Hawkeye to the Joint Strike Fighter," said Robert Klein, Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Systems vice president-Engineering, Logistics and Technology. "PFAD will help solve what's known as the 'cannot duplicate' problem. A pilot may experience a subsystem problem in the air, but once the plane's on the ground, technicians often can't detect it. Also using prediction and diagnostics, we will move from phased maintenance to condition-based/predicted maintenance to substantially reduce life cycle costs."

The ISS Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems business area's Technology Development organization leads the team, which includes Northrop Grumman's Electronic Sensors and Systems Sector (ES3), and DATAMAT Systems Research of McLean, Va. The team will be working with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio. The ISS/ES3 teaming is the continuation of an inter-sector relationship established on the Joint Strike Fighter to develop emerging diagnostic technologies.

Work initially will focus on the F-16 fighter, since there is a great deal of synergy with existing F-16 radar supportability improvement initiatives under way at ES3.

Northrop Grumman's ISS, headquartered in Dallas, Tex., is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. ISS has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management aircraft, early warning aircraft, airborne electronic warfare aircraft and air combat aircraft.

Northrop Grumman Corporation, headquartered in Los Angeles, is a world-class, high technology company providing innovative solutions in systems integration, defense electronics and information technology for its U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers, as a prime contractor, principal subcontractor, team member or preferred supplier. The company had revenues of $7.6 billion in 1999 (restated) and has a workforce of approximately 39,000 employees.

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