Pentagon Awards Northrop $43 Million in Air Force Contracts


On Wednesday, the Department of Defense announced two contract awards to defense contractor Northrop Grumman , worth a combined $43.2 million.

The first, smaller, and most intelligible contract, for $10.5 million, requests the company's Technical Services division to supply nine T-38C Pacer Classic III aircraft tooling installation sets. Pacer Classic is a program designed to upgrade and extend the service life of the Air Force's T-38 Talon supersonic training jet (built by Northrop) into 2020.

The second contract, more valuable at $32.7 million "cost-plus-fixed-fee," goes to Northrop's Aerospace Systems division, and calls upon the company to deliver "data, reports, software and hardware related to Diverse Accessible Heterogeneous Integration Research and Development" -- a program whose name seems almost designed to obfuscate its purpose.

DAHI is a DARPA contract and, according to Congressional sources, its goal is to "develop advanced heterogeneous integration processes, allowing diverse material systems and device technologies to be tightly integrated on a common silicon substrate." So, in essence, this is an R&D contract to advance the technology of designing and building semiconductors.

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