Northrop Grumman [NOC] yesterday said its RC-12X Guardrail system recently completed its 1,000th mission in theater.

First arriving in theater in 2011, the RC-12X is an updated Guardrail system.

“RC-12X is interoperable and platform agnostic, which makes it a more versatile and therefore more affordable for the Army,” a Northrop Grumman spokesman said.

The RC-12X provides operationally effective signals intelligence (SIGINT) capability, delivers rapid precision geolocation of high-value targets and maintains high operational reliability rates, giving unprecedented advantages to the warfighter.

This milestone reaffirms the RC-12X as a robust and affordable airborne SIGINT system with proven field performance and the agility to adapt to a broad range of missions and environments ranging from tactical to strategic.

The system is able to fly single-ship missions in an overwatch capacity and detect a large quantity of diverse signals simultaneously. This capability increases intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) force structure efficiency and produces higher-value intelligence. Its inherent interoperability with other systems and adaptability to emerging signal threats positions the RC-12X to support the U.S. Army as ISR missions evolve.

"The RC-12X continues Northrop Grumman’s commitment to the Army as a leading provider of airborne SIGINT integrator solutions with proven reliability," said Kathy Warden, vice president and general manager for Northrop Grumman’s Cyber Intelligence division. "We’re working in partnership with our Army customer to ensure that the RC-12X fleet will continue to serve the warfighter and intelligence community as their needs broaden."

Another seven RC-12X  systems will be delivered in 2012 and 2013, for a total RC-12X fleet of 14 systems. The program continues to offer highly cost-effective, modern SIGINT technology to address current and evolving needs in a budget-constrained environment.