The US Air Force has awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to fulfil an urgent operational need to provide tactical situational awareness to its airlift aircrews.

The contract includes two years of training and payload support at four integration sites in the US and at three overseas locations.

Under the $65m contract, the company will provide the Air Force Air Mobility Command with 58 Mobility Air Forces Dynamic Re-tasking Capability urgent operational need systems, including spares.

The system includes a secure line-of-sight and beyond line-of-sight datalink, display systems, a processor/server for command and control of the radios and existing host aircraft navigational system data.

The systems will be installed in 28 C-130J and 24 C-17 aircraft. Work on the contract will be completed before the end of June 2012.