Northrop Grumman¹s Airborne Signals Intelligence Payload (ASIP), a next generation signals intelligence sensor for the U.S. Air Force, completed the engineering checkout and calibration testing phase of the ASIP U-2 flight test program and embarked on the performance testing phase. ASIP detects, identifies and locates radar and other types of electronic and modern communication signals. During the current performance test phase of the flight test program, the ASIP system is being tested using operational scenarios with control and data exploitation from contractor-owned ground station test facilities designed to simulate the Air Force Distributed Common Ground System.
The ASIP sensor is scheduled to complete flight test on the U-2 in the first quarter of 2008 with operational fielding expected in late 2008. The Global Hawk variant of the ASIP sensor is expected to complete flight testing in 2008 and begin production in 2009 with operational fielding in 2012. The ASIP industry team includes Northrop Grumman as prime contractor for the development of the ASIP sensor and the Global Hawk platform; Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, Md., which provides the U-2 aircraft and ground station interface; L-3 Communications, New York, which provides the data link; and Raytheon, Waltham, Mass., which provides sensor and ground station interface.