Tag Archives: Northrop Grumman

First Flight

Northrop Grumman Corporation, in partnership with the U.S. Army Prototype Integration Facility and prime contractor Redstone Defense Systems, has successfully completed the first flight of the UH-60V Black Hawk helicopter.

The UH-60V Black Hawk flew for the first time on January 19 in Huntsville, Alabama
The UH-60V Black Hawk flew for the first time on January 19 in Huntsville, Alabama

Northrop Grumman provided the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V, which upgrades the U.S. Army’s UH-60L Black Hawk helicopters with a digital cockpit, under a contract awarded in 2014. The scalable, fully integrated and open architecture-based cockpit design replaces older analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays in the upgraded aircraft. The UH-60V features one of the Army’s most advanced avionics solutions, enabling the complex missions of the army aviation warfighter.

On January 19, the UH-60V Black Hawk successfully flew for the first time with this digitized cockpit in Huntsville. This important milestone was the culmination of a cockpit design and development effort that was completed on schedule within 29 months of the original contract award. The team’s accomplishment achieves the specific timeline set by Army leadership over two years prior to the first flight.

«This UH-60V first flight accomplishment reaffirms our open, safe and secure cockpit solutions that will enable the most advanced capabilities for warfighters», said Ike Song, vice president, mission solutions, Northrop Grumman. «We remain committed to delivering an affordable, low-risk solution that provides long-term value and flexibility to customers».

The UH-60V digital cockpit solution is aligned with the Future Airborne Capability Environment (FACE) standard and supports integration of off-the-shelf hardware and software, enabling rapid insertion of capabilities in multiple avionics platforms while reducing cost and risk for system integration and upgrades. The open architecture approach provides greater flexibility and enables upgrades to be done with or without the original equipment manufacturer’s involvement.

The UH-60V meets the standards for safety-critical software development and is designed to comply with the Federal Aviation Administration and European Aviation Safety Agency’s Global Air Traffic Management requirements, enabling the system to traverse military and civilian airspace worldwide. It is also certifiable and compliant with safety-critical avionics standards such as DO-178C.

The UH-60V Black Hawk program will modernize the Army’s fleet of UH‑60L helicopters through cost-effective cockpit upgrades. The new system is nearly identical to the UH‑60M pilot-vehicle interface, providing common training and operational employment.

The pilot and crew prepare for an initial test flight of the UH-60V Black Hawk, which successfully flew for the first time on January 19 in Huntsville, Alabama. Northrop Grumman delivered the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V, which is designed to update existing UH-60L analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays
The pilot and crew prepare for an initial test flight of the UH-60V Black Hawk, which successfully flew for the first time on January 19 in Huntsville, Alabama. Northrop Grumman delivered the Integrated Avionics Suite for the UH-60V, which is designed to update existing UH-60L analog gauges with digital electronic instrument displays

Laser Mine Detection

The U.S. Navy’s AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS), designed and manufactured by Northrop Grumman Corporation, has achieved Initial Operational Capability. ALMDS provides rapid wide-area reconnaissance and assessment of mine threats in sea lanes, littoral zones, confined straits, choke points and amphibious areas of operations.

ALMDS provides rapid wide-area reconnaissance and assessment of mine threats in sea lanes, littoral zones, confined straits, choke points and amphibious areas of operations
ALMDS provides rapid wide-area reconnaissance and assessment of mine threats in sea lanes, littoral zones, confined straits, choke points and amphibious areas of operations

«With Initial Operational Capability (IOC), the ALMDS program has delivered a new and important capability to the U.S. Navy and to our nation – the first of its kind for mine warfare», said Erik Maskelony, assistant program manager, Airborne Laser Mine Detection System, Program Executive Office Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS), Mine Warfare Program Office (PMS 495).

The ALMDS system features several capabilities that make it the first of its kind. It leverages a sensor pod to rapidly sweep the water using laser technology. The sensor pod can also be rapidly installed on a medium-lift helicopter and quickly removed after mission completion. This agile system’s detection speed and accuracy will significantly improve the U.S. Navy’s mine detection capabilities and help ensure the safety of service members around the world.

«Using forward motion of the aircraft, ALMDS’ pulsed laser light generates 3-D images of the near-surface volume to detect, classify and localize near-surface moored sea mines», said Mark Skinner, vice president, directed energy, Northrop Grumman. «Highly accurate in day or night operations, the untethered ALMDS sensor conducts rapid wide-area searches with high accuracy».

The target data generated by ALMDS is displayed on a console and stored for post-mission analysis. The Navy’s ALMDS installation aboard the MH-60S Seahawk helicopter is mounted on a Bomb Rack Unit 14, which is installed on the Carriage, Stream, Tow, and Recovery System. Northrop Grumman’s self-contained design allows the system to be installed on other aircraft types.

Earlier this year, Northrop Grumman successfully integrated and demonstrated ALMDS on a UH-60M Blackhawk helicopter. The first international sale of ALMDS occurred in 2012 to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF), and the JMSDF has completed flight qualification testing of ALMDS on an MCH-101 helicopter.

New Aerial Refueling

Northrop Grumman has successfully completed the first flight of an E-2D Advanced Hawkeye equipped with Aerial Refueling (AR). Under a 2013 Engineering, Manufacturing, and Development (EMD) contract award, Northrop Grumman designed, developed, manufactured, and tested several sub-system upgrades necessary to accommodate an aerial refueling capability.

The first U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye equipped with aerial refueling (Photo credit: John Germana, Northrop Grumman)
The first U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye equipped with aerial refueling (Photo credit: John Germana, Northrop Grumman)

«The Northrop Grumman aerial refueling team continues to put outstanding effort into bringing this much-needed capability to the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and our warfighters who rely on it», said Captain Keith Hash, program manager, E-2/C-2 Airborne Tactical Data System Program Office (PMA-231).

The aerial refueling capability will allow the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye to provide longer on-station times at greater ranges, extending its mission time to better support the warfighter.

The upgrades installed to support aerial refueling include probe and associated piping, electrical and lighting upgrades, and long endurance seats that will enhance field of view in the cockpit and reduce fatigue over longer missions.

«First flight is an exciting day in the journey from concept to an aerial refueling equipped E-2D», said Jane Bishop, vice president, E-2/C-2 programs, Northrop Grumman. «This takes the E-2D to another level, which will bring more combat persistence to the U.S. and our allies».

The aerial refueling program will modify three aircraft for testing planned through 2018. Production cut-in and retrofit plans are scheduled to begin in 2018.

The first U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye equipped with aerial refueling (Photo credit: John Germana, Northrop Grumman)
The first U.S. Navy E-2D Advanced Hawkeye equipped with aerial refueling (Photo credit: John Germana, Northrop Grumman)

 

E-2D Advanced Hawkeye

The E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is a game changer in how the Navy will conduct battle management command and control. By serving as the «digital quarterback» to sweep ahead of strike, manage the mission, and keep our net-centric carrier battle groups out of harms way, the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye is the key to advancing the mission, no matter what it may be. The E-2D gives the warfighter expanded battlespace awareness, especially in the area of information operations delivering battle management, theater air and missile defense, and multiple sensor fusion capabilities in an airborne system.

 

Hardware with system characteristics that provides:

  • Substantial target processing capacity (>3,000 reports per second)
  • Three highly automated and common operator stations
  • High-capacity, flat-panel color high-resolution displays
  • Extensive video type selection (radar and identification friend/foe)
  • HF/VHF/UHF and satellite communications systems
  • Extensive data link capabilities
  • Inertial navigational system and global positioning system navigation and in-flight alignment
  • Integrated and centralized diagnostic system
  • Glass Cockpit allows software reconfigurable flight/mission displays
  • Cockpit – 4th tactical operator
  • Open architecture ensures rapid technology upgrades and customized configuration options
The Hawkeye provides all-weather airborne early warning, airborne battle management and command and control functions for the Carrier Strike Group and Joint Force Commander
The Hawkeye provides all-weather airborne early warning, airborne battle management and command and control functions for the Carrier Strike Group and Joint Force Commander

 

General Characteristics

Wingspan 80 feet 7 inch/24.56 m
Width, wings folded 29 feet 4 inch/8.94 m
Length overall 57 feet 8.75 inch/17.60 m
Height overall 18 feet 3.75 inch/5.58 m
Diameter of rotodome 24 feet/7.32 m
Weight empty 43,068 lbs/19,536 kg
Internal fuel 12,400 lbs/5,624 kg
Takeoff gross weight 57,500 lbs/26,083 kg
Maximum level speed 350 knots/403 mph/648 km/h
Maximum cruise speed 325 knots/374 mph/602 km/h
Cruise speed 256 knots/295 mph/474 km/h
Approach speed 108 knots/124 mph/200 km/h
Service ceiling 34,700 feet/10,576 m
Minimum takeoff distance 1,346 feet/410 m ground roll
Minimum landing distance 1,764 feet/537 m ground roll
Ferry range 1,462 NM/1,683 miles/2,708 km
Crew Members 5
Power Plant 2 × Rolls-Royce T56-A-427A, rated at 5,100 eshp each
Unrefueled >6 hours
In-flight refueling 12 hours

 

Electronic
countermeasure

Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a contract by the Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) to upgrade the AN/ALQ-131 electronic countermeasure (ECM) pods for its F-16 aircraft fleet. The upgrade includes new threat detection and jamming capabilities to allow aircraft to operate safely in the modern threat environment.

Currently operational in the United States and 11 other countries, the Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-131 pod is one of the most successful ECM systems ever built
Currently operational in the United States and 11 other countries, the Northrop Grumman AN/ALQ-131 pod is one of the most successful ECM systems ever built

Air defense capabilities in hostile and unstable regions have grown rapidly in sophistication in recent years, presenting an increased threat to military aviation. Northrop Grumman’s Digital Receiver/Exciter adds fifth-generation aircraft electronic warfare technology to the AN/ALQ-131, providing the flexibility to remain ahead of emerging threats.

«The digital technology in the AN/ALQ-131 upgrade provides a significant leap in capability for electronic countermeasures, giving RNLAF aviators a superior level of protection wherever their missions take them», said Doctor Robert Fleming, vice president, programs, Northrop Grumman.

Currently operational in the United States and 11 other countries, the AN/ALQ-131 pod is one of the most successful ECM systems ever built. The company has more than 60 years of experience in electronic warfare protecting a variety of aircraft and aircrews, including A-10 Thunderbolt II, B-1 Lancer, B-52 Stratofortress, C-130 Hercules, F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F/A-18 Hornet and F-35 Lightning II.

Block IV Aperture Array

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered the first shipset of Light Weight Wide Aperture Array (LWWAA) hardware for Block IV of the Virginia Class Submarine (VCS) to the U.S. Navy. This represents the 19th shipset that Northrop Grumman has supplied for the VCS program.

LWWAA is the only available fiber-optic passive hull mounted sensor array in the market and is critical to the operation of the U.S. Navy’s VCS fleet
LWWAA is the only available fiber-optic passive hull mounted sensor array in the market and is critical to the operation of the U.S. Navy’s VCS fleet

LWWAA is the only available fiber-optic passive hull mounted sensor array in the market and is critical to the operation of the U.S. Navy’s VCS fleet. The technology is central to the development of future generations of undersea sensors. There are six arrays in each shipset.

«LWWAA gives the Navy a distinctive edge over sensors being used by any other naval force», said Alan Lytle, vice president, undersea systems, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems. «The early delivery of this first Block IV LWWAA shipset continues a tradition of 114 consecutive early array deliveries by Northrop Grumman Undersea Systems in support of the Virginia Class Submarine program».

Northrop Grumman has been delivering LWWAA panels for all VCSs, starting with the USS Virginia, SSN-774. The start of the first Block IV shipments represents the beginning of a series of 10 shipments that will be delivered at a rate of two per year to Huntington Ingalls Industries. Northrop Grumman will provide the acoustic array assemblies as well as all the hardware required to install the arrays on the exterior of the ships.

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered the first shipset of LWWAA hardware for Block IV of the Virginia Class Submarine to the U.S. Navy
Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered the first shipset of LWWAA hardware for Block IV of the Virginia Class Submarine to the U.S. Navy

 

Block IV

Ship Yard Christening Commissioned Homeport
SSN-792 Vermont EB Under Construction
SSN-793 Oregon EB Under Construction
SSN-794 Montana NNS Under Construction
SSN-795 Hyman G. Rickover EB On Order
SSN-796 New Jersey NNS On Order
SSN-797 Iowa EB On Order
SSN-798 Massachusetts NNS On Order
SSN-799 Idaho EB On Order
SSN-800 Arkansas NNS On Order
SSN-801 Utah EB On Order

 

2nd Test Vehicle

Tern, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), seeks to greatly increase the effectiveness of forward-deployed small-deck ships such as destroyers and frigates by enabling them to serve as mobile launch and recovery sites for specially designed unmanned air systems (UASs). DARPA last year awarded Phase 3 of Tern to a team led by the Northrop Grumman Corporation to build a full-scale technology demonstration system. The program has since made significant advances on numerous fronts, including commencement of wing fabrication and completion of successful engine testing for its test vehicle, and DARPA has tasked Northrop Grumman with building a second test vehicle.

Tern, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), has made significant advances during Phase 3 on numerous fronts, including commencement of wing fabrication and completion of successful engine testing for its test vehicle, and funding of a second test vehicle
Tern, a joint program between DARPA and the U.S. Navy’s Office of Naval Research (ONR), has made significant advances during Phase 3 on numerous fronts, including commencement of wing fabrication and completion of successful engine testing for its test vehicle, and funding of a second test vehicle

«DARPA has been thinking about building a second Tern test vehicle for well over a year», said Dan Patt, DARPA program manager. «Adding the second technology demonstrator enhances the robustness of the flight demonstration program and enables military partners to work with us on maturation, including testing different payloads and experimenting with different approaches to operational usage».

Tern envisions a new medium-altitude, long-endurance UAS that could operate from helicopter decks on smaller ships in rough seas or expeditionary settings while achieving efficient long-duration flight. To provide these and other previously unattainable capabilities, the Tern Phase 3 design is a tailsitting, flying-wing aircraft with a twin contra-rotating, nose-mounted propulsion system. The aircraft would lift off like a helicopter and then perform a transition maneuver to orient it for wing-borne flight for the duration of a mission. Upon mission completion, the aircraft would return to base, transition back to a vertical orientation, and land. The system is sized to fit securely inside a ship hangar for maintenance operations and storage.

Tern has accomplished the following technical milestones for its test vehicle in 2016:

  • Wing fabrication: Since Phase 3 work started at the beginning of 2016, Tern has finished fabricating major airframe components and anticipates final assembly in the first quarter of 2017. Once complete, the airframe will house propulsion, sensors, and other commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) systems to make up the full-scale technology demonstration vehicle.
  • Engine tests: In Phases 2 and 3, Tern has successfully tested numerous modifications to an existing General Electric engine to enable it to operate in both vertical and horizontal orientations. This type of engine was chosen because it is mature and powers multiple helicopter platforms currently in use.
  • Software integration: This summer, Tern opened its Software Integration Test Station (SITS), part of the System Integration Lab that supports software development for the program. The test station includes vehicle management system hardware and software, and uses high-fidelity simulation tools to enable rapid testing of aircraft control software in all phases of flight. The SITS is helping ensure the technology demonstration vehicle could fly safely in challenging conditions such as launch, recovery, and transition between horizontal and vertical flight.

Additional tests are about to start. A 1/5th-scale version of the approved vehicle model is in testing in the 80’ × 120’ wind tunnel at the NASA Ames Research Center’s National Full-Scale Aerodynamics Complex (NFAC). Data collected during this test will be used to better characterize aircraft aerodynamic performance and validate aerodynamic models.

«We’re making substantial progress toward our scheduled flight tests, with much of the hardware already fabricated and software development and integration in full swing», said Brad Tousley, director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office, which oversees Tern. «As we keep pressing into uncharted territory – no one has flown a large unmanned tailsitter before – we remain excited about the future capabilities a successful Tern demonstration could enable: organic, persistent, long-range reconnaissance, targeting, and strike support from most Navy ships».

Tern is currently scheduled to start integrated propulsion system testing in the first part of 2017, move to ground-based testing in early 2018, and culminate in a series of at-sea flight tests in late 2018.

DARPA and the Navy have a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to share responsibility for the development and testing of the Tern demonstrator system. The Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory (MCWL) has also expressed interest in Tern’s potential capabilities and is providing support to the program.

Tern Phase 3 Concept Video

For self-protection

Northrop Grumman Corporation will help the U.S. Air Force mature its plans to use directed energy systems for self-protection on current and future aircraft under a contract awarded by the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), August 23.

laser-beam-control-system

The contract calls for Northrop Grumman to develop and produce the beam control portion of an airborne laser weapon demonstration system that AFRL is developing under its Self-Protect High Energy Laser Demonstrator (SHiELD) Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) program.

The laser weapon will be housed in a pod attached to a fighter-sized aircraft. The system will be tested on a tactical aircraft flying at speeds up to supersonic. AFRL expects to begin flight testing the integrated system by 2019.

«Our Northrop Grumman-led team is integrating an innovative beam director with proven beam control technologies to help the Air Force define and successfully demonstrate a laser weapon capability for current and next generation aircraft», said W. Mark Skinner, vice president, directed energy, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems.

The beam control system characterizes the flight environment for atmospheric disturbances that could distort the laser beam, acquires and tracks incoming targets, determines an aim point for the laser, then «shapes» and focuses the outgoing beam on the target, added Skinner.

Northrop Grumman is developing the SHiELD beam control system under a segment of the ATD program known as SHiELD Turret Research in Aero Effects, or STRAFE.

AFRL will integrate STRAFE beam control system with a laser source, and power and cooling systems developed for the SHiELD ATD.

Persistent ISR

Northrop Grumman Corporation is set to build 10 additional MQ-8C Fire Scout unmanned helicopters for the U. S. Navy, giving maritime commanders persistent, real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR).

MQ-8C Fire Scout’s on the assembly line at Northrop Grumman’s Manufacturing Center in Moss Point, Mississippi (Photo by Northrop Grumman)
MQ-8C Fire Scout’s on the assembly line at Northrop Grumman’s Manufacturing Center in Moss Point, Mississippi (Photo by Northrop Grumman)

The additional build will bring the total number of MQ-8C Fire Scout air vehicles procured to 29, extending the range and endurance of naval operations.

«MQ-8C is meeting all of its performance objectives, and the system is delivering a greater naval warfighting capability», said Captain Jeff Dodge, program manager, Fire Scout, Naval Air Systems Command. «We are looking forward to moving the MQ-8C operational testing and deployment as a part of surface warfare mission packages».

The MQ-8C Fire Scout airframe is based on the reliable commercial Bell 407, a mature helicopter with more than 1,600 airframes produced and over 4.4 million flight hours. Modifications to the MQ-8C’s airframes are carried out at the Bell Helicopter facility in Ozark, Alabama, while final assembly is performed in Moss Point, Mississippi.

«In partnership with the U.S. Navy, we are dedicated to fielding this state-of-the-art, ship-based ISR platform as part of a strategy that provides warfighters ISR», said Leslie Smith, vice president, tactical autonomous systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. «We are pleased to support the Navy with additional MQ-8C Fire Scouts with maritime dominance support through this procurement. Our team will strive to exceed expectations in affordability, quality and on-time delivery».

MQ-8C Fire Scout has completed operational assessment, a developmental flight test program and is now preparing for Milestone C. MQ-8C Fire Scout has accrued over 730 flight hours and flown 353 sorties.

 

Specifications

Length 41.4 feet/12.6 m
Width 7.8 feet/2.4 m
Blades Folded Hangar 7.8×34.7×10.9 feet/2.4×10.6×3.3 m
Height 10.9 feet/3.3 m
Rotor Diameter 35 feet/10.7 m
Gross Takeoff Weight 6,000 lbs/2,721.5 kg
Engine Rolls-Royce M250-C47B with FADEC (Full Authority Digital Electronic Control)

 

Performance

Speed 140 knots/161 mph/259 km/h (maximum)
Operational Ceiling 17,000 feet/5,182 m
Maximum Endurance 14 hrs
Maximum Payload (Internal) 1,000 lbs/453.6 kg
Typical Payload 600 lbs/272 kg (11 hrs endurance)
Maximum Sling Load 2,650 lbs/1,202 kg

 

Engine Specifications

Power 651 shp/485.45 kW
Pressure ratio 9.2
Length 42.95 inch/1.09 m
Diameter 24.81 inch/0.63 m
Basic weight 274 lbs/124.3 kg
Compressor 1CF (centrifugal high-pressure)
Turbine 2HP (two-stage high-pressure turbine), 2PT (two-stage power turbine)

 

LRIP approval

Following a successful Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) led review, the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) obtained positive Milestone C Low-Rate Initial Production (LRIP) approval. The decision marks the beginning of the production and deployment phase of the Department of Defense (DoD) acquisition process.

Following a successful Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) led review, the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) obtained positive Milestone C low-rate initial production approval
Following a successful Milestone Decision Authority (MDA) led review, the U.S. Navy’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) obtained positive Milestone C low-rate initial production approval

«Triton’s critical technology is mature, and the system development and design review phases have been successful», said Doug Shaffer, vice president, Triton programs, Northrop Grumman. «Completion of the full system Operational Assessment (OA) testing exercised in various real-world scenarios validated the system’s ability to protect the Navy’s fleet from evolving threats. We are extremely pleased with the maritime domain awareness products and results coming from Triton».

An integrated test team made up of Navy personnel from Air Test and Evaluation Squadrons VX-1 and VX-20, Unmanned Patrol Squadron, VUP-19 and Northrop Grumman demonstrated the true reliability of Triton going into Milestone C. The team analyzed and validated sensor imagery and performance at different altitudes and ranges. The aircraft system’s ability to classify targets and disseminate critical data was also examined as part of the OA testing. Successful evaluation of Triton’s time on station confirmed that it will meet flight duration requirements. Triton also transferred full motion video to a P-8A Poseidon in flight, proving a key capability to significantly enhance its ability to detect, track, classify and identify maritime threats.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

 

MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System provides real-time Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance over vast ocean and coastal regions. Supporting missions up to 24 hours, the high-altitude UAS is equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings at a radius of over 2,000 NM/2,302 miles/3,704 km.

Triton builds on elements of the Global Hawk UAS while incorporating reinforcements to the airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems. These capabilities allow the aircraft to descend through cloud layers to gain a closer view of ships and other targets at sea when needed. The current sensor suite allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification.

Built to support the U.S. Navy’s Broad Area Maritime Surveillance program, Triton will support a wide range of intelligence gathering and reconnaissance missions, maritime patrol and search and rescue. The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be built.

The program portfolio includes the MQ-4C Triton UAS and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance – Demonstrator (BAMS-D), advanced sensors and technology, and international programs
The program portfolio includes the MQ-4C Triton UAS and the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance – Demonstrator (BAMS-D), advanced sensors and technology, and international programs

 

Key Features

  • Provides persistent maritime ISR at a mission radius of 2,000 NM/2,302 miles/3,704 km; 24 hours/7 days per week with 80% Effective Time On Station (ETOS)
  • Land-based air vehicle and sensor command and control
  • Afloat Level II payload sensor data via line-of-sight
  • Dual redundant flight controls and surfaces
  • 51,000-hour airframe life
  • Due Regard Radar for safe separation
  • Anti/de-ice, bird strike, and lightning protection
  • Communications bandwidth management
  • Commercial off-the-shelf open architecture mission control system
  • Net-ready interoperability solution

 

Multi-Function Active Sensor Active Electronically Steered Array (MFAS AESA) radar:

  • 2D AESA;
  • Maritime and air-to-ground modes;
  • Long-range detection and classification of targets.

MTS-B multi-spectral targeting system:

  • Electro-optical/infrared;
  • Auto-target tracking;
  • High resolution at multiple field-of-views;
  • Full motion video.

AN/ZLQ-1 Electronic Support Measures:

  • All digital;
  • Specific Emitter Identification.

Automatic Identification System:

  • Provides information received from VHF broadcasts on maritime vessel movements.

 

Specifications

Wingspan 130.9 feet/39.9 m
Length 47.6 feet/14.5 m
Height 15.4 feet/4.6 m
Gross Take-Off Weight (GTOW) 32,250 lbs/14,628 kg
Maximum Internal Payload 3,200 lbs/1,452 kg
Maximum External Payload 2,400 lbs/1,089 kg
Self-Deploy 8,200 NM/9,436 miles/15,186 km
Maximum Altitude 56,500 feet/17,220 m
Maximum Velocity, TAS (True Air Speed) 331 knots/381 mph/613 km/h
Maximum Endurance 24 hours

 

Mine Hunting Sonar

Northrop Grumman Corporation has delivered the first of three lots of mine hunting sonar upgrade kits to the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division. The ultimate end users will be the HM-12, -14 and -15 Mine Countermeasures Squadrons.

Northrop Grumman has delivered the first of three lots of mine hunting sonar upgrade kits to the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division
Northrop Grumman has delivered the first of three lots of mine hunting sonar upgrade kits to the U.S. Navy’s Naval Surface Warfare Center, Panama City Division

The production contracts from the U.S. Navy’s PMS-495 (Mine Warfare) are for upgrading 27 AQS-24A mine hunting systems into the more advanced AQS-24B system. The kits contain all the components necessary to upgrade the existing 27 AQS-24A mine hunting systems into the more advanced AQS-24B sonar system. Work is being done in three production lots. The first production lot has now completed delivery. Production lot two will deliver in the fall and production lot three in spring, 2017.

The upgrades eliminate diminishing material issues while increasing performance dramatically by adding the world’s first high speed synthetic aperture sonar, which increases sonar resolution by a factor of three while maintaining 18 knots/20.7 mph/33.3 km/h speed performance.

«The successful delivery of the initial eight production AQS-24B kits allows for the first operational employment of High Speed Synthetic Aperture Sonar technology by the U.S. Navy», said Alan Lytle, vice president, undersea systems, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems.

The Synthetic Aperture Sonar (SAS) enables the device to scan the ocean floor at three times the resolution of the earlier system while operating at a speed of 18 knots/20.7 mph/33.3 km/h, nearly twice as much as any other operational towed mine hunting device in the world. The AQS-24B will be operated from MH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and the Mine Hunting Unmanned Surface Vessels (MHU) currently deployed in the Arabian Gulf.

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in autonomous systems, cyber, Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), strike, and logistics and modernization to customers worldwide.

The AQS-24B will be operated from MH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and the Mine Hunting Unmanned Surface Vessels (MHU) currently deployed in the Arabian Gulf
The AQS-24B will be operated from MH-53E Super Stallion helicopters and the Mine Hunting Unmanned Surface Vessels (MHU) currently deployed in the Arabian Gulf

 

AN/AQS-24 detects, classifies and localizes bottom and volume mines

 

Tomorrow’s minehunting capability available today