UV - Unmanned Vehicles

Firebird agreements signed

18th July 2019 - 12:30 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Northrop Grumman has signed agreements with two companies for rights to purchase its Firebird aircraft system.

Tenax Aerospace and Grand Sky Development Company have signed on for the company’s new, optionally piloted ISR aircraft system, which is designed to deliver medium altitude, long endurance multi-mission flexibility.

Available in manned, autonomous and optionally piloted configurations, Firebird delivers ISR capability to meet customer mission needs. The aircraft is equipped with wide band line-of-sight and/or beyond-line-of-sight data links, onboard storage and accessible processing for rapid data exploitation.

The system’s design allows sensors to be changed rapidly as plug-and-play devices, reducing first time payload integration time and enabling rapid field changes in less than an hour. Firebird delivers 30-plus hours of endurance and up to 25,000ft..

Grand Sky is a commercial unmanned aerial vehicle testing and training centre located in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Tenax Aerospace is a provider of special mission aircraft and related aviation services to the US government and commercial customers.

Brian Chappel, vice president, autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman, said: ‘Flexibility, whether in cockpit configuration, payloads, or in owning and purchasing Firebird, is at the core of what makes this aircraft such an attractive ISR option for government partners and private industry.

‘Having flown over two dozen sensors on Firebird’s proven architecture, we are ready to offer Firebird to a wide range of nations, US government and civilian agencies, and businesses with critical data collection needs.’

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