BAMS-D completes first deployment
The Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator returned to Patuxent River Naval Air Station Oct. 1 after a successful first deployment to Central Command.
During an eight-month deployment, the BAMS-D — managed by the Persistent Maritime Unmanned Aircraft Systems program office (PMA-262) — flew over 60 flights, totaling over 1,000 flight hours, and provided Commander Task Force 57 (CTF-57) with thousands of images to support maritime intelligence and surveillance activities.
“The BAMS-D team performed superbly in executing this flawless, in-theater swap of a high-demand asset,” said Capt. Bob Dishman, program manager. “The BAMS-Demonstrator is proving the value that a persistent maritime Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance capability brings to the warfighter.”
The Navy owns two BAMS-D aircraft, formerly known as Global Hawk Maritime Demonstrators. The BAMS-D program has been developing tactics and doctrine for the employment of high-altitude unmanned patrol aircraft since November 2006.
A team from Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 2, Commander Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 5, NAVAIR and Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC) conducted the deployment. A forward-deployed contingent of NGC personnel, under oversight of Patrol Wings 2 and 5, provided maintenance for the aircraft while working closely with counterparts on the U.S. Air Force Global Hawk maintenance team.
Once airborne, BAMS-D was operated from a ground station aboard Pax River. The team flew the aircraft, operated the sensors, performed first-pass analysis of intelligence data and provided information to CTF-57 in near real time.
“This sort of worldwide operation was once science fiction, but for the Navy’s BAMS-D team, it has become routine. A challenging routine of working evenings, late nights, early mornings, holidays and weekends proves the team’s dedication to providing essential intelligence support to front-line fleet forces,” said Mike McDaniel, BAMS-D test director.
Prior to the aircraft’s return, a second BAMS-D deployed from Pax. The returning aircraft will undergo depot-level maintenance and conduct test operations.
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