The US Army has awarded a pre-planned product improvement (P3I) contract to Northrop Grumman for the joint tactical ground station (JTAGS).
Valued at $36m, the initial three-year contract covers production and delivery of two JTAGS P3I prototype systems to the army.
Specifically, the contract work includes design, fabrication, as well as testing and demonstration of the units prior to delivery.
Northrop Grumman C4ISR networked systems business unit vice-president, Ed Bush, said the contract starts the development phase of the JTAGS P3I programme, bringing the company closer to delivering an enhanced missile warning for soldiers.
"This award continues our longstanding relationship with the US Army Space and Missile Defense Command," Bush said.
Dubbed a replacement for the army's existing JTAGS system, the JTAGS P3I will be located in a fixed facility, and is expected to provide the service significant performance improvements and the ability to process additional sensors.
Designated the in-theatre element of the US Space Command's theater event system (TES), the JTAGS is a relocatable information processing system, designed to enable continuous processing of overhead non-imaging infrared (ONIR) data downlinked from the defence support programme's (DSP) satellite constellation, space-based infrared system and other systems.
Fielded worldwide, the system disseminates warning, alerting and cueing information to combatant commanders on tactical ballistic missiles (TBM) and other tactical events of interest across the battlefield using multiple communications networks, such as the integrated broadcast service (IBS) and link 16.
Manufacturing work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out at the company's facilities in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Azusa, California and Huntsville, Alabama, US, while delivery schedule remain undisclosed.