Northrop, Martin UAV Conduct Flight Test for Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft

  • Our Bureau
  • 05:25 AM, September 2, 2021
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Northrop, Martin UAV Conduct Flight Test for Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft
V-BAT aircraft

Northrop Grumman and Martin UAV (a Shield AI company) on Wednesday completed successful flight testing of a V-BAT unmanned aircraft system (UAS) with new features including GPS-denied navigation and target designation capabilities.

“The enhanced V-BAT offers a near zero footprint, flexible vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability that is based on a platform deployed operationally today, to address the U.S. Army’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) mission,” said Kenn Todorov, sector vice president and general manager, global sustainment and modernization, Northrop Grumman. “The team brings more than 30 years’ experience in the production, delivery and sustainment of unmanned aircraft systems to support this critical mission today and into the future.”

For FTUAS, the U.S. Army is seeking a rapidly deployable, GPS-denied navigation-capable, expeditionary VTOL system capable of persistent aerial reconnaissance for U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams, Special Forces, and Ranger battalions.

The offering is based on the industry leading Martin UAV V-BAT UAS. It is compact, lightweight, simple to operate, and can be set up, launched and recovered by a two-soldier team in confined environments. The V-BAT also is designed with sufficient payload capacity to carry a range of interchangeable payloads, including electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and electronic warfare (EW) payloads, depending on mission-specific requirements. Additionally, Shield AI’s recent acquisition of Martin UAV will enable rapid development of GPS-denied and autonomy capabilities for V-BAT through the future porting of Shield AI’s autonomy stack, Hivemind onto V-BAT.

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