War Profiteer of the Month: Northrop Grumman
Northrop Grumman is the world's fifth biggest arms manufacturer, formed in 1994 as Northrop bought out the Grumman company. The company is based in the USA, with over 68,000 members of staff around the world, with headquarters in Australia, Europe, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and United Arab Emirates.
Northrop Grumman has interests in a wide range of weapon technology, including planes, drones, sensors, radars, and providing logistical support and training for militaries around the world.
Northrop Grumman builds a wide range of aircraft, spacecraft, high-energy laser systems and microelectronics for the US military. The company builds the B-2 bomber, capable of dropping thermonuclear weapons and the ability “to project air power anywhere in the world”. The MQ-4C Triton is a naval surveillance drone, designed to track ship movements and survey large areas of ocean. The US Navy has bought 68 of these drones, which are expected to be fully operational by 2023. The company is also heavily involved in building the F35, the most expensive weapon ever built.
Radar and sensors
Northrop Grumman also produces a range military radar and sensors, night vision goggles and secure communications equipment. In 2017, the company went into production with the G/ATOR system, a radar designed to detect unmanned aerial systems, cruise missiles, air breathing targets, rockets, artillery, and mortars, and designed to replace multiple individual radar systems currently in use by the US military.
Northrop Grumman has "been heavily involved in the training and development of the Saudi military personnel, most notably providing technical services for the Ministry of the National Guard.”
Arms fairs and exhibitions
Unsurprisingly, Northrop Grumman regularly exhibits at arms fairs around the world, events the company uses to exhibit new technology and lobby governments to purchase new military equipment.
In 2017, Northrop Grumman exhibited at the Seoul International Aerospace and Defense Exhibition (Seoul ADEX), where they displayed a range of “autonomous aircraft”, including unmanned helicopters (such as the MQ-8C Fire Scout, the “next generation of autonomous helicopter”) and Global Hawk, a long range surveillance drone.
Northrop Grumman regularly attends the DSEI arms fair, held biannually in London. At DSEI 2015, senior members of staff delivered a range of talks and presentations on subjects such as “Embracing Unmanned Aircraft Systems”, “Cyber - The Importance of Resilience Across the Battlespace” and “The Power of Airborne Networking”. The company also gave demonstrations of radar equipment and mine hunting equipment. The company used DSEI to launch a new unmanned ground vehicle – Andros FX – designed to disarm explosive devices built into vehicles or buildings, and lobby the British government to purchase the MQ-4C maritime surveillance drone.