Bat UAV Completes Flight Tests

By Tish Drake | February 26, 2010
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Northrop Grumman said Thursday it completed the series of flights of its Bat unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Configured with a 12-foot wingspan, the Bat-12 incorporates a Hirth engine and a low acoustic five-blade propeller.

Northrop Grumman acquired the Bat product line from Swift Engineering in April 2009, and has since expanded the line’s capabilities. During recent testing, the 12-foot and 10-foot wingspan Bat were each successfully launched from an AAI Shadow UAS launcher and autonomously operated from a single ground control station before recovery via net. As a communications relay using Northrop Grumman’s Software Defined Tactical Radio, Bat has also demonstrated its capacity to provide beyond line-of-sight tactical communications relay for ground forces in denied environments, Northrop Grumman said.

Recently, the Bat UAS has been integrated and tested with new payloads and systems including a T2 Delta dual payload micro-gimbal from Goodrich’s Cloud Cap Technology Inc., Sentient Vision Systems’ Kestral real-time moving target indicator, and short wave infrared camera from Goodrich. In February, payload integration and testing was expanded to include ImSAR’s Nano-SAR-B fused with Cloud Cap’s T2 gimbal in a cursor-on-target acquisition mode.

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