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Northrop reveals details of offer for DARPA ANCILLARY VTOL UAS programme

14th July 2023 - 17:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Northrop Grumman's offering for DARPA's ANCILLARY programme will be able to carry a 27kg payload. (Image: Northrop Grumman)

Northrop Grumman will design an autonomous VTOL aircraft system for DARPA, capable of operating from navy ships at sea. The ANCILLARY program aims to enhance long endurance and expeditionary capabilities.

Northrop Grumman has become the first company to outline what it plans for DARPA’s AdvaNced airCraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And RecoverY (ANCILLARY) programme, a VTOL UAS that can be deployed and retrieved without large mechanical launchers and landing/recovery equipment.

In June DARPA announced that AeroVironment, AVX Aircraft, Griffon Aerospace, Karem Aircraft, Leidos, Method Aeronautics, Northrop Grumman, Piasecki Aircraft and Sikorsky will develop systems during the six-month Phase Ia.

The UAS needs to be ship-based and the programme ultimately plans to flight demonstrate innovative aircraft configurations and critical technologies needed for a low-weight, large-payload, long-endurance X-plane.

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Teams then will submit competitive proposals for more detailed X-plane design work. The demonstrator will be designed as a cost-efficient, multiple-mission-capable vehicle built on an agile platform that is runway-independent. The project is expected to culminate with X-plane flight tests in early 2026.

Northrop Grumman's ANCILLARY demonstrator will be capable of carrying a 27kg sensor payload with more than 20h time on station and a mission radius range of 100nmi without using significant additional infrastructure aside from what is on board the air vehicle. The system will also have capability to land on a ship in adverse weather conditions.

AdvaNced airCraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And RecoverY (ANCILLARY) [US]

The Shephard News Team


The Shephard News Team

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