In a teaming of US giants, Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to capture business in the international airborne early warning/command & control (AEW&C) market.

The two companies plan to market an AEW&C variant of Lockheed Martin's C-130J Hercules. Northrop Grumman's vice-president and general manager John Harrison says: "This is a collaboration that has been long-needed in the market-place. The aim is to provide low-cost alternatives to what is available today."

In particular, the aircraft will be pitched as an affordable alternative to the Boeing E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS). The MoU agrees that Lockheed Martin will be prime contractor with Northrop Grumman serving as mission systems' integrator of the Lockheed Martin Ocean Radar & Sensor Systems' unit.

Lockheed Martin's executive vice-president of AEW systems, Al Hansen, sees a potential large international market for a C-130J AEW&C and says talks are being held with Australia, South Korea and Turkey.

Australia, in particular, is viewed as a good prospect. "We have held significant amounts of dialogue with the Australians. We understand their requirement."



Source: Flight Daily News