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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Northrop Grumman UAS Hits Milestone

Northrop Grumman's Hunter Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) recently surpassed 50,000 flight hours in service, the company said Thursday.
More than half of the flight hours were flown in combat. Northrop Grumman-operated Hunter MQ-5A and Army-operated MQ-5B models are currently deployed in the Global War on Terrorism. Hunter provides reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition (RSTA), communications relay and weapons delivery.
Flying over the battlefield with its multi-mission optronic payload, the MQ-5B gathers RSTA information in real time and relays it via video link to commanders and soldiers on the ground. The MQ-5B Hunter is distinguished by its heavy fuel engines, its "wet" (fuel-carrying) extended center wing with weapons-capable hard points and a modern avionics suite. The MQ-5B Hunter system 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 warfighters. A differential GPS automatic takeoff and landing system is under development for Hunter.
To replace obsolete systems, increase readiness and reduce the logistics burden on soldiers, Northrop Grumman 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 and GPS units, a downsized data link system and an APX-118 IFF transponder. The company said the avionics suite improves performance by reducing size, weight and power consumption.
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