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Sat, May 07, 2005

Northrop Grumman Successfully Demonstrates KEI

Missile Defense Battle Management Capabilities Being Evaluated

Last month, Northrop Grumman says it successfully demonstrated two key battle management capabilities for the new Kinetic Energy Interceptors (KEI) missile-defense program, ahead of schedule.

KEI is a mobile, land-based missile-defense system that, when deployed, will be able to destroy a hostile threat during its boost and ascent phase of flight.  The team managing the KEI battle management portion of the program is in Huntsville, AL.

The first test demonstrated the ability of the KEI command and control, battle management and communications (C2BMC) system's permanent US site to process data from classified sensors, downgrade the classification of that data, and distribute it to a KEI battery in the field.   This permanent C2BMC system will be housed in the Joint National Integration Center at Schriever Air Force Base, CO. and will be known as the Continental US KEI (CKEI) -- providing a vital link for key national sensor data to the field -- when the overall KEI system becomes operational.

During this test, the CKEI demonstrated the ability to process live data from satellite sources and feed that data into the mobile C2BMC battery in the field to substantially improve the threat-trajectory prediction and enhance the system's ability to intercept a hostile threat.

In a separate event, Northrop Grumman took an initial step in testing the mobile C2BMC system (housed in a 42-foot trailer that deploys to the field as part of the KEI battery) when the system tracked a live launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.  During the test, the C2BMC system software (located in Boulder, CO) successfully identified the threat, formulated a track and committed on an engagement of the target.

These events are seen as the initial step in a series of planned demonstrations over the next two years to prove the overall KEI system's ability to perform its mission.

"The capability to commit on the launched target demonstrated that the KEI software is on-track for engaging threats within the necessary timeline for a successful boost/ascent intercept," said Craig Staresinich, vice president and general manager, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, Kinetic Energy Interceptors program.  "By incorporating information from additional sensor sources through the CKEI, we continue to improve our ability to effectively destroy the target."

Northrop Grumman is leading a team charged with developing and testing a Kinetic Energy Interceptors boost/ascent phase capability for the global layered ballistic missile defense system, under contract to the US Missile Defense Agency.

From detection, to tracking, to engagement, Northrop Grumman is bringing its entire suite of expertise to bear on the development of a global layered missile-defense capability for our nation, allies and deployed forces.  In addition to KEI, Northrop Grumman is developing the chemical laser portion of the Airborne Laser boost phase capability.  For the Ground-based Midcourse Defense program, Northrop Grumman provides the critical Fire Control/Communications System.  In the area of sensors, the company is prime for the Space Tracking and Surveillance System and is currently the prime on the Defense Support Program.  In modeling and simulation, Northrop Grumman is prime at the Joint National Integration center.

Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, based in Reston, VA, is a global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for defense, intelligence and civil government markets.  The sector's technology leadership and expertise spans areas such as strategic systems, including ICBMs; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training.

FMI: www.northropgrumman.com

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