Tag Archives: Northrop Grumman

The first in the world

Finmeccanica – AgustaWestland and Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) are pleased to announce the delivery of the first Airborne Mine Counter Measures (AMCM) equipped KHI MCH-101 helicopter to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force. The KHI MCH-101, a licence built version of the AgustaWestland AW101 helicopter, is equipped with the Northrop Grumman AN/AQS-24A airborne mine hunting system and the Northrop Grumman AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System (ALMDS).

The MCH-101 which has just been delivered to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101, and the only modern helicopter capable of carrying Northrop’s airborne minehunting suite, visible here in place of its rear ramp (AW photo)
The MCH-101 which has just been delivered to the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force is a variant of the AgustaWestland AW101, and the only modern helicopter capable of carrying Northrop’s airborne minehunting suite, visible here in place of its rear ramp (AW photo)

Together these systems provide a complete surface-to-bottom mine detection capability. The AW101/MCH-101 is one of only two helicopter types capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A and the only modern helicopter type.

The development of the AMCM variant of the AW101/MCH-101 has been led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, as prime contractor, with AgustaWestland providing technical support. KHI has responsibility for system integration and design of the AN/AQS-24A carriage, deploy, tow and recovery system that is installed in the cabin.

AgustaWestland in addition to providing technical support also modified the aircraft’s Automatic Flight Control System (AFCS) to be able to perform coupled towing patterns with the Northrop Grumman AN/AQS-24A.

Following the handover ceremony at Kawasaki’s Gifu factory on 27th February, the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force aircraft was delivered to Iwakuni where it will perform evaluation trials with the 51st Experimental Squadron before entering operational service in 2016.

With a typical range of 735 NM (over 1,360 km) in standard configuration the MCH-101 is the most capable Maritime helicopter in the world today
With a typical range of 735 NM (over 1,360 km) in standard configuration the MCH-101 is the most capable Maritime helicopter in the world today

The AN/AQS-24A is the only operationally proven, high speed airborne mine hunting system in the world. It features a high-resolution, side scan sonar for real time, detection, localization and classification of bottom and moored mines at high area coverage rates and a laser line scanner to provide precision optical identification of underwater mines and other objects of interest.

 

KHI MCH-101

KHI developed the MCH-101, a successor of the current MH-53E minesweeping/transport helicopter, by modifying the EH-101, a utility helicopter developed and manufactured by AgustaWestland based in Italy and the United Kingdom, in order to meet needs specific to Japan. The MCH-101 will be used in the Maritime Self-Defense Force’s minesweeping/transport activities as well as transport support for Antarctic exploration.

The MCH-101 is the only modern helicopter capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A
The MCH-101 is the only modern helicopter capable of towing the AN/AQS-24A

The AN/AES-1 Airborne Laser Mine Detection System uses pulsed laser light and streak tube receivers housed in an external equipment pod to image the entire near-surface volume potentially containing mines. The ALMDS pod is mounted on the port weapon carrier and data is displayed on the cabin mission console.

The first AMCM configured is the eighth of 13 AW101s that Kawasaki Heavy Industries is building under licence from AgustaWestland for the Japan Maritime Defense Force.

The eight aircraft delivered to date comprise six MCH-101s and two CH-101s. The CH-101s are used to support Japan’s Antarctic research activities.

 

AgustaWestland AW101

The AW101 combines the most advanced technologies, safety by design, mission systems and leading-edge manufacturing to provide a proven platform for Heads of State and Very Very Important Person (VVIP) operators.

The MCH-101 is equipped with three civil certified (FAA Type Certificate E8NE) General Electric CT7-8E engines
The MCH-101 is equipped with three civil certified (FAA Type Certificate E8NE) General Electric CT7-8E engines

Featuring the largest cabin in its class, 2.49 m/8.17 feet wide and 1.83 m/6 feet high, passengers are able to walk in the spacious environment, which can be fitted with a range of fixtures and equipment, finished in highest quality materials to customers exacting standards. The aircraft has been proven in the world’s most extreme environments, from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

 

Weights

Maximum Take-Off (int./ext. loads):  15,600 kg/34,392 lbs

Engine Rating (3 x GE CT7-8E)

Take-Off power (5 min):                          3 x 1,884 kW/3 x 2,527 shp

Intermediate (30 min):                             3 x 1,855 kW/3 x 2,488 shp

Maximum Continuous Power:            3 x 1,522 kW/3 x 2,041 shp

OEI* Max Contingency (2 min):          2 x 1,880 kW/2 x 2,522 shp

* One Engine Inoperative

With the largest cabin in its class, the MCH-101 provides customers with greater operational flexibility
With the largest cabin in its class, the MCH-101 provides customers with greater operational flexibility

Fuel Capacity (VVIP version)

4 cell tanks (self-sealing):                       4,094 L/1,081 USgal

Fuel Capacity (Utility version)

5 cell tanks (self-sealing):                       5,135 L/1,357 USgal

Crew

Pilot:                                                                   2

Passengers:                                                    38

External Dimensions

Overall length:                                               22.83 m/74.92 feet

Overall height:                                               6.66 m/21.83 feet

Main rotor diameter:                                 18.60 m/61.00 feet

Performance

Cruise speed:                                                 278 km/h/150 knots

Hovering In Ground Effect (IGE):      3,307 m/10,850 feet

Max Range (Utility version):                 1,360 km/735 NM

Max Endurance (Utility version):       6 h 30 min

Whether equipped for autonomous ASW/ASuW or amphibious assault with 38 troops, the MCH-101 offers total flexibility to fleet commanders
Whether equipped for autonomous ASW/ASuW or amphibious assault with 38 troops, the MCH-101 offers total flexibility to fleet commanders

Due Regard Radar

According to Marina Malenic, Jane’s Defence Weekly reporter, the U.S. Navy (USN) plans to add a Due Regard Radar to its Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton unmanned maritime surveillance aircraft after it is deployed to the fleet.

U.S. Navy's First Triton Unmanned Aircraft
U.S. Navy’s First Triton Unmanned Aircraft

The radar «will be an upgrade to the initial capability in the 2020 time frame», said Sean Burke, the programme manager for the navy’s persistent maritime unmanned aircraft systems programme office. Due Regard Radar would allow «non co-operative» detection of other aircraft.

The name «Due Regard» comes from an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) requirement that military aircraft be flown with «Due Regard for the safety of navigation of civil aircraft». Burke said the navy will begin conducting Triton sensor test flights within the next three weeks and delivering the aircraft to the fleet at the end of 2017 and early 2018.

USN officials have previously said Triton will come equipped with a Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) and Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B). Both TCAS and ADS-B are transponder-based systems that require other aircraft to have such systems so that they can «see» and avoid one another.

Though neither TCAS nor ADS-B meets the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA’s) requirements for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) sense-and-avoid on its own, the USN and the FAA are working with other international regulatory bodies to develop a plan whereby they can be used in conjunction.

Previously known as the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS), the Triton is a derivative of Northrop Grumman’s RQ-4 Global Hawk being developed to provide the USN with persistent maritime Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) as a companion to the Boeing P-8A Poseidon manned maritime surveillance aircraft. It will operate in US national airspace, as well as international, foreign, civil, and military airspace.

Based on the proven Global Hawk UAS, Triton incorporates a reinforced airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems
Based on the proven Global Hawk UAS, Triton incorporates a reinforced airframe and wing, along with de-icing and lightning protection systems

 

MQ-4C Triton

Northrop Grumman’s MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) 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 nautical 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.

Triton will also be equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings and allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification
Triton will also be equipped with a sensor suite that provides a 360-degree view of its surroundings and allows ships to be tracked over time by gathering information on their speed, location and classification

 

Key Features

  • Provides persistent maritime ISR at a mission radius of 2,000 NM/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
Built for the U.S. Navy, Triton will support a wide range of missions including maritime patrol and search and rescue
Built for the U.S. Navy, Triton will support a wide range of missions including maritime patrol and search and rescue

 

Payload (360-degree Field of Regard)

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.
The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be fielded
The Navy’s program of record calls for 68 aircraft to be fielded

 

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:                     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/15,186 km

Maximum Altitude:                              56,500 feet/17,220 m

Maximum Velocity:                              331 knots True Air Speed (TAS)/ 381 mph/613 km/h

Maximum Endurance:                        24 hours

 

MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft system flies from Palmdale, California, to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland

 

MQ-8C takes first flight

Northrop Grumman reported that the U.S. Navy successfully flew the MQ-8C Fire Scout system for the first time off the guided-missile destroyer, USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109), Norfolk, VA, Dec. 16, off the Virginia coast.

After more than a year of land-based testing at Point Mugu, California, the MQ-8C Fire Scout grew its sea legs, making 22 takeoffs and 22 precision landings while being controlled from the ship’s ground control station.

 A Northrop Grumman MQ-8C has completed five days of dynamic interface tests on USS Jason Dunham. (Northrop Grumman)
A Northrop Grumman MQ-8C has completed five days of dynamic interface tests on USS Jason Dunham. (Northrop Grumman)

“The MQ-8C Fire Scout’s flights from the USS Dunham represent a significant Navy milestone. This is the first sea-based flight of the MQ-8C and the first time an unmanned helicopter has operated from a destroyer,” said Capt. Jeff Dodge, Fire Scout program manager at Naval Air Systems Command. “The extended capabilities will offer the Navy a dynamic, multipurpose unmanned helicopter with increased endurance, allowing for our ship commanders and pilots to have a longer on station presence.”

“These dynamic interface tests are an essential part in clearing the operational envelope of the system and are proving the system’s ability to operate off any air-capable ship,” said George Vardoulakis, vice president for medium range tactical systems, Northrop Grumman Aerospace System. “We are on track to validate all of the critical performance parameters of this Navy asset and ready the system for deployment and operational use.”

 

 

Air – Unmanned Systems – MQ-8C Fire Scout