SYKESVILLE, Md., Sept. 28, 2006 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has received U.S. Navy approval to begin production of a new digitally-controlled arrestment system that will dramatically upgrade the critical process of "catching" aircraft landing on carriers.
The Advanced Recovery Control (ARC) system, designed and developed by Northrop Grumman's Marine Systems business unit, has received Milestone "C" approval from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), clearing the way for initial production.
ARC is the Navy's first electronic digital control system for the aircraft arrestment system aboard aircraft carriers. Awarded in 2002, the program covers design, development, first article qualification and production. ARC is a key part of the Navy's plans for extending the service life of carriers and allowing for arrestments of heavier aircraft entering the fleet. NAVAIR plans to retrofit ARC on Nimitz-class carriers.
ARC is an upgrade to the MK 7 arrestment system. It uses a precision digital control system to replace the existing maintenance-intensive system that used chains, cams and levers to close the constant run-out valve. ARC uses a computer system with a feedback loop and built-in redundancy to accurately and safely arrest the aircraft on the carrier's deck while subjecting it and the pilot to lesser forces. The ARC upgrade includes digital controls, software, graphical displays, programmable arrestment profiles, and redundant electronically controlled actuators that precisely control the arrestment process.
"The mission-critical process of catching naval aircraft on a carrier has just been given an upgrade," said Richard Weinberger, director of power control systems at Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. "This marks the first time the arrestment process has been controlled by software and digital technology.
"This Milestone C achievement also represents the successful culmination of a very successful industry-NAVAIR partnership," Weinberger added.
The ARC program provides the Navy's fleet with significant improvements in the automation and control of the arrestment process. The upgrade provides better performance, improved safety, higher reliability and more accurate diagnostics. It increases the precision of the process and allows for continuing system enhancements to meet the fleet's future needs.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
CONTACT: Jack Martin, Jr.
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems