Melissa photographs Northrop Grumman annual report in California, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, and Massachusetts.
Melissa was chosen for the Northrop Grumman annual report assignment after a company executive saw her work featured in an airline magazine. She was asked to humanize the workers that were dedicated to producing precision equipment for the company. She traveled to several locations, making images in sometimes top-secret workplace environments.
From their press releases: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) is an American global aerospace and defense technology company formed by the 1994 purchase of Grumman by Northrop. The company was the fourth-largest defense contractor in the world as of 2010, and the largest builder of naval vessels. Northrop Grumman employs over 120,000 people worldwide. Its 2010 annual revenue is reported at US$34 billion. Northrop Grumman ranks #72 on the 2011 Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations and ranks in the top ten Military Friendly employers. It has its headquarters in Falls Church, Virginia.
Newport News Shipbuilding manufactures all U.S. aircraft carriers, including supercarriers. It has built the Nimitz-class supercarriers and is building the new Gerald R. Ford-class supercarrier. It is also one of only two companies capable of producing U.S. nuclear submarines. A separate sector, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, produces amphibious assault ships and many other commercial and military craft, including icebreakers, tankers, and cargo ships. In a partnership with Science Applications International Corporation, Northrop Grumman provides naval engineering and architecture services as well as naval maintenance services.
Separate sectors, such as Aerospace Systems, produce aircraft for the US and other nations. The B-2 Spirit strategic bomber, the E-8C Joint STARS surveillance aircraft, the RQ-4 Global Hawk, and the T-38 Talon supersonic trainer, are used by the US Air Force. The US Army uses Northrop Grumman’s RQ-5 Hunter unmanned air vehicle, which have been in operational use for more than 10 years. The US Navy uses Northrop Grumman-built aerial vehicles such as the BQM-74 Chukar, RQ-4 Global Hawk based BAMS UAS, C-2 Greyhound, E-2 Hawkeye, and the EA-6B Prowler. Northrop Grumman provides major components and assemblies for different aircraft such as F/A-18 Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the EA-18G Growler. Many aircraft, such as the F-5, T-38 Talon, and E-2 Hawkeye are used by other nations.
The former Space Technology sector (now Aerospace Systems Sector) builds satellites and space payloads for the US government, including NASA, NOAA and the US Air Force. The sector’s Directed Energy unit builds chemical and solid-state lasers. Working with Boeing, the sector provides the chemical laser for the Boeing YAL-1 Airborne Laser system.
The former Mission Systems sector (now Information Systems Sector) is engaged in supporting the U.S. ballistic missile program; integrating various command, control and intelligence systems; and providing technical and management services to governmental and military customers.
Northrop Grumman intends to bid for the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation strategic bomber project. Though it has not built a large manned aircraft since wrapping up B-2 Spirit production in the 1990s, The company has “been working hard to turn that perception around, with the skills and capabilities that back it up.” It continues to build the RQ-4 Global Hawk, with many of the same long endurance and sensor technologies that are required for bombers.
Northrop Grumman partnered with EADS to offer the KC-30 in the U.S. Air Force’s KC-X tanker competition. The US Air Force chose the Northrop Grumman/EADS’s KC-30 in February 2008, but the win was contested and the tanker program was halted by Defense Department in September 2008. Northrop Grumman announced in March 2010 it was withdrawing from the competition.
In November 2010, Northrop Grumman was selected by NASA for consideration for potential contract awards for heavy lift launch vehicle system concepts, and propulsion technologies.
Radar and sensors
Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems creates military sensors and related products, including C4I radar systems for air defense, Airspace Management radar systems such as AMASS, and battlefield surveillance systems like the Airborne Reconnaissance Low (ARL). Tactical aircraft sensors produced by Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems include the AN/APG-68 radar and the AN/APG-80 advanced agile beam fire control radar for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the AN/APG-77 Advanced Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar for the F-22 Raptor, and the AN/APG-81 AESA radar for the F-35 Lightning II, and the AN/AAS-37 electro-optical Distributed Aperture System for the F-35, and the highly reliable APQ-164 Passive Electronically Scanned Array (PESA) radar for the B-1 Lancer. Electronic Systems also produces and maintains the AWACS aerial surveillance systems for the U.S., the United Kingdom, NATO, Japan, and other customers. Northrop Grumman is the prime contractor for the development and integration of the Air Force’s $2-billion Multi-Platform Radar Technology Insertion Program. Many other smaller products are made by Northrop Grumman, such as night vision goggles and secure communications equipment.
Originally formed in California in 1939, Northrop Corporation was reincorporated in Delaware in 1985. In 1994, Northrop Aircraft merged with Grumman Aerospace to create the company Northrop Grumman. Both companies were previously established in the airplane manufacturing industry, and Grumman was famous for building the Apollo Lunar Module. The new company acquired Westinghouse Electronic Systems in 1996, a major manufacturer of radar systems. Logicon, a defense computer contractor, was added in 1997. Previously, Logicon had acquired Geodynamics Corporation in March 1996 and Syscon Corporation in February 1995.
A merger between Northrop Grumman and competitor Lockheed Martin was not approved by the U.S. government in 1998, slowing the consolidation of the defense industry. But in 1999, the company acquired Teledyne Ryan, which developed surveillance systems and unmanned aircraft. It also acquired California Microwave, Inc., and Data Procurement Corporation, in the same year. Other entities acquired included Xetron Corporation (1996), Inter-National Research Institute Inc. (1998), Federal Data Corporation (2000), Navia Aviation As (2000), Comptek Research, Inc. (2000), and Sterling Software, Inc. (2000).
In 1999, Northrop Grumman and SAIC created AMSEC LLC as a joint venture, which grew “from $100 million in revenue in 2000 to approximately $500 million in fiscal year 2007.”
In 2001 the company acquired Litton Industries, a shipbuilder and provider of defense electronics systems to the U.S. Navy. During the acquisition process, a new Delaware holding company, NNG, Inc., was formed. It merged with Northrop Grumman through a one-for-one common shares exchange in April 2001. Both Northrop Grumman and Litton became subsidiaries of the new holding company. The original Northrop Grumman Corporation then changed its name to Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation; the holding company, NNG, Inc., changed its name to Northrop Grumman Corporation.
Later that year, Newport News Shipbuilding was added to the company. And in 2002, Northrop Grumman acquired TRW, which became the Space Technology sector based in Redondo Beach, CA, and the Mission Systems sector based in Reston, VA, with sole interest in their space systems and laser systems manufacturing. The Aeronautical division was sold to Goodrich, and the automotive divisions were spun off and retained the TRW name.
There have been many other smaller acquisitions throughout this period. On July 20, 2007, Northrop Grumman became the sole owner of Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composites.
Northrop Grumman and Boeing have also recently collaborated on a design concept for NASA’s upcoming Orion spacecraft (previously the Crew Exploration Vehicle), but that contract went to rival Lockheed Martin on August 31, 2006. Northrop Grumman announced formation of a new business unit (sector), effective January 1, 2006 called Technical Services.
In 2007 Northrop Grumman created the National Workforce Centers. The National Workforce centers are an alternative to Offshoring. Current locations are Auburn, AL; Corsicana, TX; Fairmont, WV; Helena, MT; Johnstown, PA; and Lebanon, VA. The Rapid City, SD location will be closing in January, 2012.