Northrop to Develop ISR Drone Demonstrator Under DARPA Contract
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Tactical Technology Office has awarded Northrop Grumman a contract to design an autonomous uncrewed aircraft system that delivers ISR and situational awareness support to U.S. Navy ships.
Under the Advanced Aircraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And Recovery contract, Northrop will design a demonstrator UAS that can carry a 60-lb sensor payload and operate up to 20 hours across a 100-nm radius without using additional infrastructure. The ANCILLARY demonstrator must also be runway independent, multiple-mission-capable, cost-efficient and built on an agile platform.
The missions the aircraft will work to perform include ISR and targeting and ship-to-shore logistics and payload delivery, Northrop said Thursday.
Under the ANCILLARY program, DARPA plans to develop and demonstrate an X-plane that can be launched from and land on ship decks and austere locations regardless of weather conditions. ANCILLARY drones must also be compact, allowing sailors to store multiple units in one ship. The UAS fleet will create a tactical beyond-visual-line-of-sight, multiple-intelligence sensor network capability.
Northrop has a long history of developing unmanned aerial vehicles for military branches in the U.S. and worldwide. Some of its UAVs are the MQ-4C Triton, the MQ-8C Fire Scout and the RQ-4 Global Hawk.
Category: Defense and Intelligence
Tags: Advanced Aircraft Infrastructure-Less Launch and Recovery program contract award Defense Advanced Research Project Agency Defense and Intelligence ISR Northrop Grumman unmanned aircraft system