The US prime has been tapped to develop an advanced weapons technology concept designed to increase missile range.
Northrop Grumman has been awarded a contract by the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Tactical Technology Office (TTO) to support its ‘LongShot’ program, which aims to develop technology with the capacity to increase the range and effectiveness of air-to-air missiles.
DARPA’s program aims to explore new lethal engagement concepts by leveraging multi-modal propulsion — weapon systems that can be operationally deployed from existing fighters or bombers.
According to DARPA, the program would utilise “high pay-off” opportunities to provide “revolutionary new system capabilities”, rather than incremental or evolutionary advancements, in a bid to “achieve undeterrable air presence at dramatically reduced costs”.
Northrop is expected to leverage its experience in weapon system design, survivability, autonomy, advanced mission systems and rapid prototyping, to deliver new capabilities.
“Our collaboration with DARPA is the critical first step in the development of innovative operational concepts and solutions that will enhance our warfighter’s combat capability against a rapidly growing threat,” Jaime Engdahl, program director of kinetic weapons and emerging capabilities at Northrop Grumman, said.
“The LongShot program enables us to combine our digital engineering skillset with our extensive knowledge in advanced technology weapons, autonomous systems and strike platforms to increase weapon range and effectiveness.”