Northrop Grumman gets billion-dollar U.K. air force job

Northrop Grumman Corp. will provide aircraft maintenance and design engineering support services to the U.K.'s Royal Air Force, officials of the Los Angeles company said today.

Northrop Grumman was chosen as the preferred bidder for the Sentry Whole Life Support Programme, which is worth about $1.19 billion over 21 years, according to the company.

At this point, Northrop Grumman and the U.K. Ministry of Defence will negotiate the terms and conditions of the contract. Northrop Grumman officials said they expect a contract award in January 2005.

Northrop Grumman's Herndon, Va.-based Information Technology sector will support the maintenance schedule for the Royal Air Force fleet of E-3D Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft. The company will ensure only one aircraft out of a fleet of seven is in scheduled maintenance at any time.

The work includes repairs of structural parts and inventory upkeep; support of design engineering, maintenance training, and conversion and management of technical publications in an electronic format.

Northrop Grumman IT's teammates include AAR Corp. of Wood Dale, Ill.; BAE Systems plc of Farnborough, Hampshire, U.K.; and FR Aviation of Christchurch, Dorset, U.K.

Four Northrop Grumman business sectors will collaborate on the job. The Information Technology sector will provide systems integration, program management and IT infrastructure. The Integrated Systems sector will have engineering support responsibility and design authority for the program. The Electronic Systems sector will provide radar capabilities, and the Space Technology sector will offer interactive electronic technical manual support.

The contract will employ about 165 people, about 145 of whom will be located in the United Kingdom. Work on the program will be carried out at Royal Air Force Waddington, near Lincoln, U.K., according to Northrop Grumman.

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