Thursday, July 4, 2013

Northrop gets simulator contract

Northrop Grumman last week won a training-simulation contract potentially worth $490 million to support the Air Force's next-generation air-combat virtual-training network. Northrop Grumman Information Systems of Herndon, Va., was awarded the follow-on support for the Combat Air Force Distributed Mission Operations and Integration program, according to the Defense Department. The company will develop and manage the "Distributed Mission Operations Network 2.0" at its Orlando operation with work to be completed by June 30, 2018. The system will connect dissimilar combat-aircraft simulators, from fighters to refueling aircraft, to the same interactive trainer. Lockheed Martin also competed for the project, according to a senior defense analyst for the Frost & Sullivan consulting firm. Lockheed's Mission Systems & Training unit in Orlando, among other projects, manages the F-35 pilot-training center at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., one of the centers that would connect to the Air Force's mission-operations training network. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Agile Combat Support, Simulators Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio is the contracting activity. Northrop Grumman's simulation division lost a bid earlier this year for a trio of contracts related to virtual-training systems for the Littoral Combat Ship, the Navy's new, advanced warship. (Sources: DoD, 06/27/13, Orlando Sentinel 07/03/13) The Independence-class variant of the LCS is built in Mobile, Ala., by Austal USA.