Northrop Grumman has received two task orders from the US Air Force (USAF) under the A-10 Thunderbolt life cycle program support (TLPS) indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract vehicle.
Valued at approximately $24m, the task orders require the company and its teammates to keep the A-10 aircraft’s weapon system viable through 2028 and beyond.
Under the four-year aircraft structural integrity program (ASIP) Modernization V task order, the company will perform tasks related to the aircraft’s original development and manufacture, including damage tolerance analysis, materials testing, probabilistic and risk analysis, and stress and thermal analysis.
The ASIP teammates include Southwest Research Institute (SWRI), University of Dayton Research Institute, Borsight and Prime Machine.
Northrop Grumman Clearfield aircraft engineering services center site and programme manager David Gustafson said, "Winning these task orders demonstrates our customer’s confidence in our ability to manage the extremely important engineering and logistics tasks required to keep the aircraft structure flight-ready throughout its lifecycle."
Covering A-10’s weapon system sustainment, the ten-year, $1.6bn Thunderbolt TLPS contract was initially secured by Northrop, along with two other companies in June 2009.
Powered by two General Electric TF34-GE-100A turbofan engines, the A-10 is a high-survivability straight-wing jet aircraft designed to provide close air support (CAS) for ground forces by defeating tanks, armoured vehicles and other land targets having a limited air defence capability.
Also known as the Warthog, the close support aircraft was extensively deployed by USAF during Operation Desert Storm, Nato operations in response to the Kosovo crisis, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Image: A USAF’s A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft flying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. Photo: courtesy of USAF Master Sgt. William Greer.