The US Air Force (USAF) has awarded a contract to Northrop Grumman for the sustainment and modification of critical missile warning radars.

Under the competitively awarded Sustainment and Modification of Radar Sensors (SMORS) contract, the company will be responsible for upgrading a worldwide network of the ground-based radars. They can be deployed to carry out missile warning and defence, as well as space tracking missions.

The seven-year indefinite-delivery-indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract is worth up to $866m.

Northrop Grumman Space and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Systems Division vice-president and general manager Joseph J Ensor said: “Our work on SMORS will uphold and enhance the airforce’s ability to detect missile attacks early while also providing forces with critical situational awareness of objects in space.”

“Northrop Grumman will ensure the high availability of ground-based radar and associated support systems for the USAF Space Command.”

Under the deal, Northrop Grumman will ensure the high availability of ground-based radar and associated support systems for the USAF Space Command.

Radar systems include the ballistic missile early warning system (BMEWS), precision acquisition vehicle entry phased array warning system (PAVE PAWS), and the perimeter acquisition radar attack characterisation system (PARCS).

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Ensor added: “This win reflects the airforce’s ongoing trust in Northrop Grumman’s sustainment, engineering and radar expertise, as well as our deep commitment to the success of this mission.

“We are honoured that the airforce has chosen us to support these unblinking eyes for US forces on a modern threat environment that extends into space.”

Work on the project will be carried out in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Linthicum, Maryland, as well as other radar sites across the world.