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Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the Guardrail System
by Staff Writers
Aberdeen MD (SPX) Jun 28, 2011

The RC-12X Guardrail Modernization program extends the life of the aircraft through 2025 and introduces new payloads to the system with enhanced capabilities to sense and exploit emerging and rapidly evolving irregular and conventional warfare threats.

The U.S. Army and Northrop Grumman recently celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Guardrail System, a significant tactical and national asset that has provided continuous surveillance capability while rising to meet the challenge of the nation's ever-changing security threats.

The 40th anniversary was commemorated with a series of events held June 14-16 at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. The celebration was attended by numerous Guardrail program veterans and culminated with a banquet honoring the program's history and the highly successful, long-term government and industry partnership.

"The Guardrail system brings unprecedented signals intelligence (SIGINT) capabilities to the warfighter in the field, a legacy that Northrop Grumman has been proud to support for 40 years," said Kathy Warden, vice president and general manager, Cyber Intelligence Division at Northrop Grumman.

"We are privileged to continue partnering with the Army as we field the latest version of the Guardrail program, the RC-12X."

Northrop Grumman has been the lead industry partner with the Army on the Guardrail System since the program's inception in 1971. Today, the RC-12X, the latest upgrade to the Guardrail fleet, is providing unparalleled SIGINT capability including instantaneous precision geolocation and identification of threats to enable the Brigade Combat Team's Find, Fix, Finish, Exploit, Analyze and Disseminate (F3EAD) battle command process.

The RC-12X Guardrail Modernization program extends the life of the aircraft through 2025 and introduces new payloads to the system with enhanced capabilities to sense and exploit emerging and rapidly evolving irregular and conventional warfare threats.

The program also enhances the sustainability of the RC-12X through commonality, a new glass cockpit, structural upgrades, and significant hardware and software improvements.

Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman, under a task order from the Army, fielded the first two upgraded planes to provide support in theater. The second two aircraft recently completed final outfitting and testing for operational deployment. An additional 10 RC-12X's will be fielded in the 2011-2012 timeframe.


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