Northrop Grumman Awarded Airborne Sensor Demonstration Contract
Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a contract to conduct a maritime airborne sensor demonstration using a company owned MQ-8B Fire Scout tactical Vertical Unmanned Aircraft System (VUAS) by ABS Group, a Systems Engineering Technical Assistance (SETA) contractor for the US Coast Guard Research and Development Center.
The test will take place in the Chesapeake Bay conducted from the Naval Air Station at Patuxent River, Md, Webster Outlying Field.
The purpose of the test is to verify and validate ship deployed UAS aircraft and payload capabilities, as described in Northrop Grumman's response to an earlier Coast Guard Request for Information (#HSCG32-09-J-200023). During the test, Fire Scout will use the US Navy baseline payload, the FLIR Systems Inc BriteStar II electro-optical/infrared/laser designator range finder (EO/IR/LDRF) payload.
The radar will be an off-the-shelf Telephonics 1700B search, surveillance, tracking and imaging radar system, which was integrated on Fire Scout under an internal research and development cooperative funding program between Northrop Grumman and Telephonics in early 2008. The test is scheduled to occur in fall 2009.
"This is a great opportunity to demonstrate that Fire Scout is a mature VUAS that has the capability, modularity, and flexibility to provide a wide area surveillance capability for the domestic and international customers, including the US Coast Guard. A great example of where this capability will be vitally important is aboard the Coast Guard's new National Security Cutter," said Doug Fronius, Director of Tactical Unmanned Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector.
The US Navy Fire Scout will complete Operational Evaluation in 2009 and is slated to deploy aboard USS McInerney (FFG-8.)
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