Northrop joins Air Force's 'Gray Wolf' networked missile program

The Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a second five-year, $110 million contract to Northrop Grumman for work to build prototype cruise missiles that can collaborate with other weapons via a network.

Northrop becomes the second company alongside Lockheed Martin to receive a contract for AFRL’s “Gray Wolf” science technology demonstration effort. Deltek data indicates two awards were expected. AFRL received seven offers for the contract, the Defense Department said in its Wednesday contracts digest.

Gray Wolf stems from a March 2017 broad agency announcement by AFRL in search of a subsonic missile that can apply collaborative networking techniques to navigate, survive and attack specific targets.

AFRL’s goal for Gray Wolf is to identify networked collaborative operations technologies that can help defeat an enemy’s integrated air defense systems. The idea is to use the Gray Wolf missile with other weapon systems via a network.

Lockheed and Northrop will design, develop, manufacture and test prototype missiles each with different payload capabilities over four spiral tasks.

The companies will also work to identify, research and delivery technologies that meet AFRL’s goals for production unit costs and mission effectiveness. They will also carry out trade studies with research on benefits versus costs on certain capabilities.

Work will take place through Dec. 17, 2022 and could extend for an additional two years, according to the BAA.

About the Author

Ross Wilkers is a senior staff writer for Washington Technology. He can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @rosswilkers. Also connect with him on LinkedIn.

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