Northrop to supply navigation systems for KC-390 and Tranche 3 Typhoons


Northrop Grumman has received two separate contracts from Embraer and Eurofighter Consortium to supply global positioning systems (GPS) and inertial navigation systems (INS) for the KC-390 military transport and Tranche 3 Typhoon combat aircraft respectively.

Under the terms of the first undisclosed contract, Northrop Grumman LITEF will deliver an unspecified number of LCR-100 attitude and heading reference systems (AHRS) to Embraer for integration into the Brazilian Air Force's KC-390 aircraft.

Valued at €30m, the second contract for Northrop Grumman Italia covers the delivery of Eurofighter Fibre-optical Gyro (FOG) INS and GPS receivers for all Typhoon aircraft of the programme's participating countries, including the UK, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Northrop Grumman LITEF managing director, Eckehardt Keip, said the LCR-100 gyro-compass will provide required efficiencies, savings and safety for the KC-390 aircraft.

"This system will meet the exacting standards Embraer sets for its new aircraft," Keip added.

Labelled as a replacement for the legacy LCR-92 and LCR-93 systems, the LCR-100 is a high-performance inertial reference system designed to provide navigation data about the aircraft's position, heading and attitude.

Equipped with a gyro-compass, the system eliminates the need for magnetic sensors for heading alignment, and also helps the aircraft to maintain accuracy and continue providing navigation information, even in cases of GPS signal loss.

The Eurofighter INS and complementary GPS receiver are equipped with advanced features, which include selective availability/anti-spoofing module architecture and an anti-jam antenna system.

More than 400 INS systems have been delivered by the company for previous Tranches 1 and 2 Typhoon programmes.

Eurofighter is scheduled to deliver a total of 112 aircraft, which includes 40 Typhoons for UK, 31 for Germany, 21 for Italy and 20 for Spain by 2016 as part of the Tranche 3A contract, which was signed in July 2009.

Brazil is set to receive 28 KC-390s from Embraer, with first flight expected to take place in 2014, followed by service entry in 2016.