Northrop Grumman's bid to win the UK's Airborne Stand-Off Radar (ASTOR) has been strengthened by a contract to begin development of an upgrade for the US Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System.

An advanced active-array radar to be developed under the Radar Technology Insertion Programme (RTIP) forms the basis of Northrop Grumman's offering in the ASTOR contest.

The overall development effort, valued at $776 million, will take nine years, but this would be accelerated to meet the ASTOR in-service date, now 2003.The UK would contribute $154 million to develop the RTIP sensor if it selects the system over offers from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin.

While Northrop Grumman's Melbourne, Florida-based unit will be RTIP prime contractor, its Baltimore, Maryland, electronics group will co-operate with Raytheon Systems on the sensor.

Source: Flight International