Thursday, August 6, 2009
Bat UAV Demonstrates Comm Relay Payload
Northrop Grumman said it demonstrated a communications relay payload for a government customer during multiple flights of its Bat unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The flight tests took place June 23-26 at Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif. Northrop Grumman also demonstrated the Bat system's reliability with five flights over the four-day period. The communications relay payload was demonstrated on an air vehicle with a wingspan of 10 feet. The Bat product line features wingspans ranging from 6.5 to 33.2 feet. Bat capabilities include real-time ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), communications and strike capabilities; it is also runway independent, fully autonomous and can be launched and recovered from land, air and sea, the company said. "We are extremely pleased with the results of these flights, which were conducted in a realistic, desert theater setting," said Corey Moore, vice president of Advanced Concepts - Air and Land Systems for Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. Northrop Grumman said it is integrating several new payloads, a common ground control architecture and air vehicle upgrades that include a new engine, a new launcher capability and several air vehicle capability enhancements.