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USAF awards SIGINT contract to Northrop Grumman

The company has been selected to develop new sensor technology for high-altitude aircraft.

The company has been selected to develop new sensor technology for high-altitude aircraft.

The US Air Force (USAF) has tasked Northrop Grumman with designing a next-generation, open standards-based signals intelligence (SIGINT) sensor for high-altitude intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) platforms


As part of the project, which falls under of the USAF’s Global High-altitude Open-system Sensor Technology (GHOST) program, Northrop Grumman will develop a prototype sensor with both airborne and ground components.

The GHOST sensor is expected to be scaled and configured to fly on multiple types of manned and unmanned Air Force aircraft, and is tipped to support rapid system enhancement, testing, accreditation and integration in accordance with changing requirements.  

“Leveraging our SAGE technology and 45 years of SIGINT mission expertise, our platform agnostic GHOST sensor is a next-generation intelligence data collection and exploitation system,” Ben Davies, vice president and general manager, networked information solutions at Northrop Grumman, said.

The award comes just days after Northrop Grumman leveraged the USAF’s DevSecOps environment, Platform One, to provide a software update to flight-rated mission hardware through a secure cloud environment. 

In collaboration with the USAF 76th Software Engineering Group (76SEWG), the teams used critical Open Mission Systems (OMS) software to modify code that initiated an automated build and containerised software transfer via encrypted internet to a Northrop Grumman team in another location on the east coast.


After the software update was deployed to flight-rated hardware, the team executed a simulated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) mission, returning data and results to 76SWEG developers at Tinker Air Force Base at the conclusion of the mission.

This marked the first demonstration of an OMS software payload deployed by geographically dispersed teams using Platform One in a secure cloud environment. 

[Related: Northrop Grumman delivers USAF software update via cloud platform]

USAF awards SIGINT contract to Northrop Grumman
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