Thursday, June 21, 2007
Northrop Grumman UAS Hits Milestone
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.