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General Dynamics wins key Northrop Grumman contract

Jan. 4, 2013, Ottawa - General Dynamics Canada has been awarded a CA$32 million contract by Northrop Grumman Corporation for key communications network technology for the NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance (AGS) program.


January 4, 2013
By Carey Fredericks

Under this contract, General Dynamics Canada will provide the
software that will control the AGS Communications Ground Control System
(CGCS). The CGCS will manage radio and satellite communications between
Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and the main operating base
in Sigonella, Italy. General Dynamics Canada will also deliver
ruggedized computer workstations and the Voice over Internet Protocol
(VoIP) intercom systems that will enable communications between
operators at the operating base and with mobile command centers. In
addition, the company will provide engineering support for the
integration of its software and systems at Northrop Grumman's facilities
in the United States, and at the main operating base in Italy.

"This
contract highlights the capabilities of the world-leading communication
solutions we have developed through many years of innovation in
airborne ISR systems," said David Ibbetson, general manager for General
Dynamics Canada. "It showcases Canadian technology that we have
successfully deployed on the CP-140 Aurora as part of the Aurora
Incremental Modernization Project, and on the CH148 Cyclone as part of
the Maritime Helicopter Program. At the same time, it provides us with
the opportunity to leverage the experience and expertise of the highly
skilled employees at our facilities across Canada. As important, the key
technologies being provided by General Dynamics Canada will be
available for future UAV-based programs in Canada, such as the Joint
Unmanned Surveillance Target Acquisition System and the Mercury Global
Wideband Global Satellite communications system."

"This is
another example of how Northrop Grumman is leveraging national
investments already made in the NATO AGS program to benefit the entire
alliance," said Dan Chang, Northrop Grumman vice president and program
manager of the NATO AGS program. "We look forward to working with
General DynamicsCanada on this program to deliver this critical
capability to NATO."

The NATO AGS program, led by Northrop
Grumman, is a major international procurement initiative to establish an
airborne ground surveillance system, which can provide NATO commanders
with a comprehensive picture of activity on the ground. It includes five
Northrop Grumman high-altitude, long endurance Global Hawk UAVs,
missionized to NATO requirements; Mobile Ground Command and Control
Vehicles; as well as associated command and control base stations. Once
deployed, the AGS system will enable NATO and its coalition partners to
gather intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance information to
support military and humanitarian operations.

With its main
operating base at Sigonella, NATO AGS will be co-located with the U.S.
Air Force Global Hawks and the U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton (BAMS) Broad Area
Maritime Surveillance unmanned aircraft systems, further advancing
synergies across the three programs in operational capability, lifecycle
logistics and sustainment.

Development and production of the AGS
program is expected to take place over the next three years, with
initial operation scheduled for November 2016. General Dynamics Canada
will continue to provide in-service support for the system beyond 2016.