More STARLite radars for US Army MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAV
Northrop Grumman will supply an additional 44 STARLite wide area surveillance radars for the US Army's MQ-1C Gray Eagle unmanned aircraft system under a contract announced on 20 September. STARLite features synthetic aperture radar, ground moving target indicator and dismount moving target indicator capabilities.
Northrop Grumman's AN/ZPY-1 STARLite (Small Tactical Radar – Lightweight) is the US Army radar programme of record for the MQ-1C Gray Eagle, and has also been demonstrated on the army's Persistent Threat Detection Systems (PTDS) aerostat. STARLite has taken part in digital interoperability demonstrations at Camp Roberts in California, showcasing its ability to share data across a network and cue non-collated sensors.
The system weighs 65 pounds, making it attractive for manned and unmanned reconnaissance aircraft. It is capable of conducting all-weather, wide-area surveillance and detecting stationary, dismounted and moving targets.
Steve McCoy, vice president for tactical sensor solutions at Northrop Grumman, said: ‘This order reaffirms the army's confidence in STARLite's exceptional reliability, which has far exceeded specifications during its deployment. STARLite's record of performance means warfighters on the ground can count on it to provide the airborne intelligence they need in critical situations’.
GA-ASI has developed the Gray Eagle Extended Range/Multi-Purpose (ER/MP) UAV as part of the US Army’s aviation modernisation plan. The UAV has an endurance of 25 hours, speeds up to167 KTAS, can operate up to 29,000 feet, and carries 1,075 lb (488 kg) of internal and external payload. The aircraft can carry multiple payloads aloft, including Electro-optical/Infrared (EO/IR) with laser designation, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR), communications relay, and four Hellfire missiles.
Under the terms of the contract option, radar deliveries will begin in April 2013 and conclude in March 2014. This order will bring the total number of systems under contract to 174.
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