updated 11/2/2010 1:46:38 PM ET 2010-11-02T17:46:38

BALTIMORE, Nov. 2, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A joint Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) and U.S. government team today received the 2010 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award for the rapid development and successful demonstration of a quantum leap in electronic protection (EP) performance against enemy jammers by the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter radar.

The award was presented by William Lynn, Deputy Secretary of Defense; Ashton Carter, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; and Vice Admiral David J. Venlet, program executive officer for the F-35 Lightning II Program, at the Program Executive Office, Systems Command Conference, at the Fort Belvoir Officer's Club.

"Bringing combat capability to the battlefield in a quick and effective – but low risk – manner sometimes requires novel approaches in acquisition, which was the case in terms of requirements, design and testing processes for the F-35's AN/APG-81 active electronically scanned array radar," said David Bouchard, director of F-35 Sensor Programs at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "In regard to electronic protection, previous acquisition processes were not agile enough to meet the kinds of threats warfighters experience in the contemporary battlefield, particularly with the advent of digital radio frequency memory-based electronic warfare systems.

"With the F-35, we approached the challenge in a holistic manner, applying a disciplined system engineering process in order to define effective and affordable electronic protection specifications for the radar. We would not have been successful without all the help we received across a very talented joint government and industry team," Bouchard added.

The electronic protection project team included participation from the F-35 Joint Program Office, a Program Executive Officer (PEO) program reporting to the Office of the Secretary of Defense with Navy and Air Force leadership, and Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector.  

During the Northern Edge 2009 joint training exercise, the F-35 team successfully demonstrated the AN/APG-81 radar's EP performance on a test-bed aircraft against numerous aircraft, radars, and jamming systems. Northern Edge involved hundreds of aircraft and naval ships in a realistic combat environment.

"The radar's EP capabilities have already exceeded everyone's expectations," said Bouchard. "The F-35 JSF will have exceptional performance in electronic warfare environments when it becomes operational. We have already had numerous requests to migrate these key capabilities to other aircraft radar systems at Northrop Grumman, which we are in the process of doing right now."

The David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award is established to recognize Department of Defense civilian and/or military organizations, groups, or teams who have made highly significant contributions which demonstrated exemplary innovation and best acquisition practices. The F-35 radar EP team was one of three 2010 David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award recipients.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.

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