Northrop Says It Can Meet JPSS Schedule

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Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems has informed the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that it could meet the government’s requirement to have a fully capable civil weather satellite ready for launch by 2014, a company spokesman said July 16.

NOAA on June 25 announced its intent to award, through NASA, a sole-source contract to Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. to provide the platform for the first satellite in a new civilian program dubbed the Joint Polar Satellite System (JPSS). In justifying its plan to make a sole-source award, NOAA said Ball was uniquely qualified meet the schedule requirement but invited other companies that believe they could fulfill the government’s needs to submit a statement of capability.

Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman was developing the platform for the now-dismantled National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System. The company believes this satellite could be integrated with the five planned sensors and be ready for launch in mid-2014, Northrop Grumman spokesman Lon Rains said in an e-mail.