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Enhanced V-Bat spreads its wings

1st September 2021 - 17:48 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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V-Bat in flight. (Photo: Northrop Grumman)

V-Bat small UAS demonstrates GPS-denied navigation and target designation capabilities.

Northrop Grumman and Martin UAV have completed successful flight testing of a V-Bat UAS with new features including GPS-denied navigation and target designation capabilities.

The tests at Camp Grafton in North Dakota were carried out as part of the two companies’ offering under the Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) programme, in which the US Army seeks a rapidly deployable, expeditionary VTOL system capable of persistent aerial reconnaissance for Brigade Combat Teams, SOF, and Ranger battalions.

The FTUAS solution must also be capable of operations in contested EW environments. It will replace the RQ-7B Shadow.

Kenn Todorov, Northrop Grumman senior VP and general manager for global sustainment and modernisation, described V-Bat as offering ‘a near-zero footprint’, flexible VTOL capability ‘that is based on a platform deployed operationally today’.

Rivals to V-Bat for the FTUAS requirement include the Arcturus Jump 20, the Textron Aerosonde HQ and the L3Harris FVR-90

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