The $34 million contract awarded via the U.S. Navy involves modernizing military hardware which includes the installation of AN/APX-122A IFF Mode 5/Mode S Interrogators and AN/APX-123 IFF Mode 5/Mode S Transponders on board three French navy E-2C "Hawkeye" airborne early warning aircraft.
The mode transponders provided by Northrop will enhance the aircraft’s Identification Friend or Foe ("IFF") system and will improve communications with the U.S. Navy’s E-2D Advanced Hawkeye aircraft. The IFF technology allows aircraft to identify friendly forces thereby preventing any casualties from friendly firings.
Apart from the U.S., France is the only country which operates E-2C Hawkeye from an aircraft carrier. The long-standing operational collaboration between the U.S. and France has ensured the relevancy of the multimission E-2 Hawkeye platform in battle. The joint effort has contributed to constant technological developments of the E-2 Hawkeye which has optimized its reliability and capability.
Northrop has been the one of the few contractors to effectively counter the sequestration. In late Sep 2013, the company scored ten contracts from the Department of Defense worth $1.28 billion.
In addition, Northrop is devoting its efforts to capitalize on the rising demand for defense products, especially in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific markets. Recently, Northrop expanded its footprint in Australia through multiple acquisitions and strategic partnerships.
(Zacks Equity Research)