JED - May 2014 - 25

leadership interview
Jef f Palombo

JED: What are some of the key
electronic warfare (EW) areas that
Northrop Grumman is focusing on
at present?

Palombo: We are focusing on
several areas right now, with a great
deal of attention on the affordability part of the equation. At the same
time, we're looking at multifunction
capability, whether it's the sensor
or your EW suite; the integration of
sensor information, and digital interoperability is essential. You often
hear about EW being referred to as
a "force multiplier." It's really true
when you begin taking all of the collected data and using it in a combining fashion versus taking individual
streams of data and trying to interpret and utilize those independently.
Then add in the open architecture
side of the equation. "Open architecture" has been a catch phrase for the
government for years and years and
years. Northrop Grumman has really
turned the corner on open architecture, which is a tremendous benefit
to affordability associated with upgrades and enhancements. In this
time of finite system opportunities,
it is important that the government
has the ability to address emerging threats and changes in technology without being held hostage to a
closed or proprietary architecture.
As an example, Northrop Grumman's
open architecture IRCM systems
enable the integration of new hardware solutions coupled with the abil-

ity to augment performance through
algorithm enhancements - a very
powerful and economical, long-term
solution for the end user.
The technology is ultimately important in terms of understanding,
meeting and defeating a threat. But
now you have these other considerations that have become equally
as important.

JED: Data fusion in the cockpit is
also becoming important. Is that a
responsibility that is going to reside
with the platform primes or are the
radar and EW systems makers going
to play more of a data fusion role in
the future?

Palombo: I think it's going to
be case specific. On certain weapon
system platforms, the OEM is likely
to remain the systems integrator
because of the overall system complexities or architecture. But we've
seen in different situations within
the U.S. and globally, that there has
been a departure from that particular mindset. This is taking place in
interesting places. Think of what the
U.S. Army is doing on the Black Hawk
L cockpit digitization program.
They're going to remove the analog
cockpit of the Black Hawk H-60L
model and replace it with an entirely
digital integrated avionics cockpit
solution. In addition to the enhancements associated with the cockpit
and avionics suite, they will be able
to take all of the information from

the Black Hawk's sensors and integrate it into that integrated cockpit
environment. The Army has taken
on this program, and they are buying
the open architecture in the cockpit
to be able to do that. The key is the
open architecture. In the past, the
system OEM would have had to have
handled this type of upgrade, but
once the Army realized they could
implement a true open architecture
and had the ability to digitize, they
recognized that they could work
with industry partners to digitize
the Black Hawk cockpit with autonomy. Boy, this is an entirely different
environment right now.

JED: You mentioned affordability
earlier. How can the systems provider help with affordability?

Palombo:

We always talk
about size, weight and power associated with system characteristics
- especially on the rotorcraft side of
the business. If you are going to do
upgrades and enhancements, add
capability and increase survivability, what else should we take into account in addition to the size, weight
and power constraints? I would add
form factor to that discussion. A lot
of people might take a step back
and say, "That's a different thought.
What does form factor have to do
with this?" What Northrop Grumman has recognized is that if you're
upgrading or replacing the EW system on an airplane for example, the

The Journal of Electronic Defense | May 2014

Jeff Palombo is Sector Vice President and Division General Manager of the Land and SelfProtection Systems (L&SPS) Division of Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector. He
joined Northrop Grumman in 2003 as site manager and President of Northrop Grumman
Amherst Systems in Buffalo, NY. He then became VP of the infrared countermeasures business area, with responsibility for programs such as Directional Infrared Countermeasures
(DIRCM), Large Aircraft Infrared Countermeasures (LAIRCM) and the company's Guardian
Counter Man-Portable Air Defense System (C-MANPADS). In his current role, he manages a diverse organization specializing in land forces, rotary wing survivability systems,
international and U.S. military ground-based tactical radars, communications systems,
infrared countermeasure systems, RF countermeasures, and the Laser Systems business
unit capabilities. JED spoke with him about the trends he sees in the EW market, as well
as the broader defense electronics market.

25



JED - May 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JED - May 2014

The View From Here
Conferences Calendar
Courses Calendar
From the President
The Monitor
Washington Report
World Report
Interview
European Helicopter EW
Advanced ASE And ESM Already On Some US Helicopters
Ground-Based COMINT Solutions
Fighting the Kill Chain: Concepts and Methods of Electronic Attack
EW 101
AOC News
Index of Advertisers
JED Quick Look
JED - May 2014 - cover1
JED - May 2014 - cover2
JED - May 2014 - 3
JED - May 2014 - 4
JED - May 2014 - 5
JED - May 2014 - The View From Here
JED - May 2014 - 7
JED - May 2014 - Conferences Calendar
JED - May 2014 - 9
JED - May 2014 - Courses Calendar
JED - May 2014 - 11
JED - May 2014 - From the President
JED - May 2014 - 13
JED - May 2014 - 14
JED - May 2014 - The Monitor
JED - May 2014 - 16
JED - May 2014 - 17
JED - May 2014 - 18
JED - May 2014 - 19
JED - May 2014 - 20
JED - May 2014 - 21
JED - May 2014 - Washington Report
JED - May 2014 - 23
JED - May 2014 - World Report
JED - May 2014 - Interview
JED - May 2014 - 26
JED - May 2014 - 27
JED - May 2014 - European Helicopter EW
JED - May 2014 - 29
JED - May 2014 - 30
JED - May 2014 - 31
JED - May 2014 - 32
JED - May 2014 - 33
JED - May 2014 - 34
JED - May 2014 - 35
JED - May 2014 - 36
JED - May 2014 - 37
JED - May 2014 - 38
JED - May 2014 - Advanced ASE And ESM Already On Some US Helicopters
JED - May 2014 - 40
JED - May 2014 - 41
JED - May 2014 - 42
JED - May 2014 - 43
JED - May 2014 - Ground-Based COMINT Solutions
JED - May 2014 - 45
JED - May 2014 - 46
JED - May 2014 - 47
JED - May 2014 - 48
JED - May 2014 - 49
JED - May 2014 - Fighting the Kill Chain: Concepts and Methods of Electronic Attack
JED - May 2014 - 51
JED - May 2014 - 52
JED - May 2014 - 53
JED - May 2014 - 54
JED - May 2014 - 55
JED - May 2014 - 56
JED - May 2014 - 57
JED - May 2014 - 58
JED - May 2014 - 59
JED - May 2014 - EW 101
JED - May 2014 - 61
JED - May 2014 - AOC News
JED - May 2014 - 63
JED - May 2014 - 64
JED - May 2014 - Index of Advertisers
JED - May 2014 - JED Quick Look
JED - May 2014 - cover3
JED - May 2014 - cover4
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