Northrop Grumman Corp., Electronic Systems sector, has been awarded a contract valued at $24 M for follow-on production of its improved AN/TPQ-36(V)8 Firefinder radar system that provides better performance and reduced life-cycle costs.

The continuation of a sole-source contract was awarded by the US Army's communications and electronics command on behalf of the Program Executive Office for intelligence, electronic warfare and sensors, Fort Monmouth, NJ.

It calls for an additional 15 Firefinder systems and spares that will support both the Army and Army National Guard. This will increase the total AN/TPQ-36(V)8 systems fielded by the active Army, National Guard and US Marine Corps units to 102.

Firefinder is used by field artillery units to provide enemy mortar, artillery and rocket launch locations, target acquisition, and counterfire support for divisions, brigades and rapid-deployment task forces. The Firefinder system locates targets by using X-band radar to detect incoming mortar and artillery rounds and rockets. It then determines the launcher's position and relays targeting data to a fire direction center (FDC) for counter-battery engagement. Firefinder can also be used to detect rounds in flight and extrapolate impact points. This information is then passed back to the FDC to enable more precise target engagement with subsequent rounds.