Reverse Engineering for Obsolescent Components

As military systems are required to stay in the inventory for longer periods of time, the availability of spare parts becomes a critical factor in responding to a military crisis. In addition, source reliability could directly impact operational readiness and sustainability.

As weapon systems age, key components may no longer be available from the original vendor. Form, fit and function replacements for these obsolescent parts must be found as well as reliable vendors who will provide warranty and servicing for these components.

Northrop Grumman has the capability and experience to provide reverse engineering analysis, prototyping and servicing for these obsolescent components. These products result in increased readiness and reduced costs.

Some examples of Northrop Grumman's reverse engineering components are the AN/ALQ-131 jammer memory replacement unit (MRU), AN/ARL-62(V)5 radar warning receiver (RWR) MRU, and the F-14 vertical display indicator (VDI).

ALQ-131 Jamming Pod Memory Replacement Board

Northrop Grumman has developed a core memory replacement board for the AN/ALQ-131 jamming pod that dramatically improves the reliability and maintainability of the system and lowers the overall cost.

To accomplish this breakthrough, Northrop Grumman provided the design and component fabrication and teamed with a government agency to provide environmental testing.

AN/ALR-62(V)5 Memory Replacement Board

The AN/ALR-62(V)5 RWR is used by an international customer on a portion of their F-111 fleet. In the original configuration a total 32 megabytes of core memory required 8 separate components. The Northrop Grumman re-engineered memory is now one form, fit and replacement box.

This replacement box uses the newest SRAM technology thus reducing the weight and logistic support requirements for the system, significantly increasing the reliability and maintainability of the system and lowering the total costs.

The Future

Northrop Grumman is also performing reliability and maintainability analysis, design and modifications for the F-14 VDI unit for the U.S. Navy. The modifications are expected to relieve critical overheating and correct the low mean-time-between-failure for the system.

Northrop Grumman Program Performance

As a result of these projects, a flexible reverse engineering capability for the modification, upgrade or redesign of obsolescent components for military electronics and avionics has been formed. Along with the development of the replacement components, Northrop Grumman can provide warranty and repair support for these items.