The U.S. Air Force has selected Northrop Grumman Corporation for the Air and Space Operations Center (AOC) Weapon System (WS) modernization program with an initial award of $120 million. The contract has a potential value of $504 million over eight years, if all options are exercised. AOC WS is the command and control center for planning, executing and assessing joint air operations during a contingency or conflict. Under the contract from the Electronic Systems Center, Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., the team led by Northrop Grumman will modernize the AOC to enable greater battle space awareness and more effective, dynamic planning and execution. "Northrop Grumman is committed to delivering an evolvable, net-centric system that is affordable over the lifecycle," said Linda Mills, corporate vice president and president of Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "In addition, we will use our cybersecurity expertise to ensure secure operations across the full range of missions." AOC WS program objectives include improving the speed of command by automating information exchange, accelerating the integration of warfighter capabilities and significantly reducing lifecycle costs. Tasking under the entire contract includes design, integration, test and delivery of a network-centric infrastructure and mission applications with fielding and sustainment at eight AOC sites. "We're focused on rapidly bringing necessary capabilities to the warfighter," said Mike Twyman, vice president and general manager of the Defense Systems Division, Northrop Grumman Information Systems. "We plan an iterative process of early, frequent prototyping, incorporating feedback and maturing incremental improvements. "Our team will develop a composable solution built upon our Modular Open Systems Approach-Competitive model to offer mission-tailorable capabilities and allow continuous lifecycle refresh and competition," he said. Northrop Grumman's Modular Open Systems Approach-CompetitiveTM (MOSA-CTM) is a strategic business and engineering process that achieves the lifecycle benefits of open-systems architecture and commercial off-the-shelf components and software. The MOSA-CTM process ensures vendor-neutral, enduring solutions that improve interoperability and lower the total cost of ownership.