Northrop Grumman and the US Air Force (USAF) have successfully completed an integrated baseline review and interim design review for the Air Operations Center (AOC) Weapon System modernisation programme, advancing it towards the design phase.

Concluded on 12 July 2012, the baseline review established a mutual understanding and agreement between the two sides regarding the cost, schedule, technical deliverables, as well as related technical and programmatic risk.

The interim design review (IDR), performed in August 2012, served as a symposium for the USAF and the company to analyse and validate the design completed to date, which was showcased by the design documentation and a prototype system.

The IDR marked the first in a series of events which will lead up to the programme’s delta-preliminary design review, scheduled for late 2012.

Mike Twyman, Northrop Grumman Information Systems Defense Systems division vice president and general manager, said: "With the successful completion of these important reviews, we validated our plan to rapidly deliver capability to our warfighters well within program cost objectives."

An initial $120m contract was awarded by the USAF to a Northrop-led team in March 2012, to overhaul the AOC, with an aim to increase its operational effectiveness.

The contract has a maximum potential value of $504m over the next eight years, if all options are exercised, and covers design, integration, test and delivery of a network-centric infrastructure and mission applications, along with deployment and maintenance across eight AOC sites.

Northrop’s team include AgilePath, Capgemini Government Solutions, ZelTech Technologies, Layer 7 Technologies, Bosh Global Services, Applied Minds and DMM Ventures.

The AOC WS serves as the command and control (C2) centre for planning, implementation and validation of joint air operations during a contingency or conflict in the air, space and cyber domains worldwide.