Northrop Grumman and the US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) have recently successfully completed a critical test in the Integrated Topside (InTop) Low-Level Resource Allocation Manager (LLRAM) programme, the company announced on 28 October.

LLRAM, in conjunction with the InTop Electronic Warfare/Information Operations/Communications (EW/IO/COMMS) system, demonstrated the simultaneous sharing of a single antenna, while flexing its adaptable size and antenna pattern capabilities and performing a mission that would have previously required multiple dedicated antennas. The significance of the test is that it enables future antenna reductions on ships that are already capacity-constrained, allowing for more advanced combat capabilities in an increasingly complex battlespace.

The Northrop Grumman/NRL demonstration of LLRAM concepts was conducted in the same environment that proved crucial to the development of the SEWIP [Surface EW Improvement Program] Block 3 EDM,” explained the company’s Vice President, Maritime Electronic and Information Warfare, Mike Meaney. “The efficiency of signal sharing capabilities, scalability and advanced resource management capabilities developed on the Low-Level Resource Allocation Manager program will allow for a significantly reduced footprint topside.”

The demonstration showed that the EW/IO/COMMS Advanced Development Model for SEWIP Block 3 can serve as a platform for proving advanced multi-function concepts using existing NRL test assets. LLRAM and EW/IO/COMMS were developed under the Office of Naval Research (ONR) Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare Command and Control (EMC2) InTop Innovative Naval Prototype. The system leverages four active electronically scanned antenna (AESA) arrays (low band transmit/receive and high band transmit/receive): intended platforms include cruisers, destroyers and aircraft carriers.

The InTop EW/IO/COMMS system deployed at Chesapeake Beach, MD serving as the test bed for LLRAM. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

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