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Friday, May 15, 2009

Hunter UAS Surpasses 75,000 Hours

Northrop Grumman's Hunter UAS in use with the U.S. Army since 1996, recently surpassed 75,000 flight hours in service, 50,000 of which were flown in combat, the company said.

The RQ-5A Hunter was the Army’s first fielded UAS. The current MQ-5B, equipped with a multi-mission optronic payload, gathers reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition (RSTA) data in real time and relays it by video link to commanders and soldiers on the ground.

Northrop Grumman has integrated a new suite of avionics for Hunter, including upgraded flight and mission computers, an auxiliary power distribution unit, the LN-251 inertial navigation system with GPS, a downsized data link system and an APX-118 IFF transponder.

The MQ-5B uses the Army's One System ground control station and remote video terminal. It also carries a communications relay package to extend the radio range of soldiers. A differential GPS automatic takeoff and landing system is under development.

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