Northrop to develop new IMU guidance system for weapons

Northrop Grumman is to develop a next-generation, navigation-grade inertial measurement unit for munitions.
By Richard Tomkins   |   March 16, 2016 at 6:05 PM

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., March 16 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman has been selected by the U.S. military to develop a next-generation, navigation-grade inertial measurement unit.

The miniaturized unit will be based on advanced microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, technology to enable navigation by sensing acceleration and angular motion, providing data outputs used by vehicle control systems for guidance.

"Due to our expertise as a longstanding, leading inertial instrument provider, we are a natural fit to develop this game-changing technology for warfighters," said Alex Fax, program director of Advanced Positioning, Navigation and Timing Solutions, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. "In particular, making inertial navigation units smaller and lighter than ever before will make a huge difference in GPS-denied and highly contested environments."

The system is for the Microsystems Technology Office of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The contract for the work carries a value of $6.27 million. Contract options valued at $5.3 million call for the MEMS-based IMU, designated the LR-500, to be assessed for meeting size, weight and power requirements and performance parameters, followed by testing the prototype.

The inertial measurement unit is intended to replace the inertial measurement unit currently deployed on munitions.

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