AWARD RECOGNIZES B-2 INNOVATION.
PALMDALE - The Defense Department presented a David Packard Excellence in Acquisition Award to a U.S. Air Force/Northrop Grumman Corp.team for improving the B-2 stealth bomber's combat readiness while reducing costs.
Northrop Grumman is the Air Force's B-2 prime contractor.
Named for the co-founder of the Hewlett-Packard Co. and former deputy defense secretary, the award recognizes Defense Department civilian and military organizations, groups or teams that make significant, innovative contributions to the way the department acquires goods and services.
The award, one of three Packard awards presented Nov. 17, cited the team for making the acquisition system ``more efficient, responsive and timely'' and for reducing costs for operating B-2 bombers.
The team reduced the average time to order and install critical parts by more than 75 percent in 2003.
``The Packard award recognizes the effectiveness of the B-2 team in responding to the aircraft's requirements in the field,'' said Duke Dufresne, Northrop Grumman sector vice president and B-2 program manager.
In 2002, Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector and the Air Force's B-2 program office signed an agreement called the Total Systems Support Partnership. The agreement enables Northrop Grumman employees to work more closely with Air Force personnel to anticipate needs and improve response times in the B-2 supply chain.
The B-2 pact was modeled after a successful agreement created in 2000 between the Air Force and Northrop Grumman that provides support for the service's fleet of E-8C Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (Joint STARS) aircraft. The Air Force/Northrop Grumman Joint STARS team won a Packard award in 2001.
Under the B-2 agreement, Northrop Grumman's Information Technology sector manages the parts procurement as the principal subcontractor to the Integrated Systems sector.
(color) The B-2 stealth bomber takes off from Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale in 2003.