Aurora Flight Sciences delivered of the first complete ship set of composite aerospace structures to Northrop Grumman for the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) program, Aurora said this week.
Aurora manufactures the aft fuselage, forward nacelle, mid nacelle, aft nacelle, and V-tail assemblies of the MQ-4C BAMS UAS aircraft at its composites manufacturing facility in Bridgeport, W.Va. These structures are then shipped to Northrop Grumman’s manufacturing facility in Palmdale, Calif., for final assembly.
“The delivery of the first ship set of flight hardware is a major step in this important program,” said John Langford, Aurora’s President and CEO. “We are proud of the role that Aurora plays to deliver affordable, high-quality composite structures to Northrop Grumman for the Navy BAMS UAS program.”
The MQ-4C BAMS UAS is the Navy version of the RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force to execute surveillance and reconnaissance tasks. The BAMS aircraft is expected to make its first flight in 2012. The MQ-4C is a long endurance UA that provides Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) information to the maritime forces. When it becomes operational, the BAMS UAS will provide military commanders with a persistent assessment of surface threats covering vast areas of open ocean and littoral regions.
Aurora has been a member of Northrop Grumman’s Q-4 Enterprise team since 1995. Aurora’s Global Hawk work scope includes all of the aircraft’s composite components except the wing and radomes. More