Northrop Grumman has been awarded an 18-month direct contract by the US Air Force (USAF) to produce millicomputer replacement (MCR) 1553 processors.

The MCR-1553 is equipped with an onboard memory for recording in-flight data and to provide Ethernet communications for advanced interface with other systems on the host aircraft.

The new processor will replace the aging core memory in the USAF ALQ-131 electronic countermeasures pod used on both the F-16 Fighting Falcon and the A-10 Thunderbolt fighter jets.

Northrop Technical Services MCR-1553 programme manager Les Walraven said the processor will provide enhanced processing and communication capability to meet the current and future threat requirements for the ALQ-131.