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Northrop Grumman has secured a single-award contract extension from the US Air Force (USAF) for Mobility Air Force (MAF) Distributed Mission Operations (DMO).

Under the $64m contract, Northrop Grumman will continue as the Operations and Integration (O&I) prime contractor to provide a distributed training solution for training missions.

These cyber-secure solutions will include virtual air refuelling, formation flight, airdrop and tactical training for Air Mobility Command (AMC) crews.

Mission operations will reduce costs and risk by connecting crews with virtual air refuelling and other training across the globe.

The Air Force Life Cycle Management Center in Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio awarded the extension of the sole-source, firm-fixed-price contract which will be in service till August 2022.

MAF DMO AMC chief Sean Carey said: “The MAF DMO mission is to train AMC aircrews in a secure, realistic, networked environment, reducing risk and the operating costs of flight training.

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“Our capabilities enable live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) participation in a wide range of MAF, airforce, joint service and combined exercises.”

Originally, Northrop Grumman won the contract in 2011 to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving virtual air refuelling in high-fidelity training simulators.

The tanker aircraft, boom operator pod and the receiver aircraft were connected across networks, despite the distance.

Northrop Grumman combat systems and mission readiness vice-president and general manager Kenn Todorov said: “The airforce has built a successful and longstanding DMO capability with Northrop Grumman.

“Our experience, and the processes and innovative solutions developed across numerous programmes, including MAF DMO, have resulted in a cost-effective, cyber-hardened and highly collaborative solution, which has greatly expanded the level of fidelity attainable in distributed training environments.”

This DMO solution is the first continuous Authority to Operate (ATO) for a programme in the Air Force Operational Training Infrastructure (OTI) simulator and training.