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UNMANNED SYSTEMS UPDATE

07 Mar 11. Northrop Grumman Corporation’s MQ-4C Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Unmanned Aircraft System (BAMS UAS) program conducted system Critical Design Review (CDR) with the U.S. Navy last month.
“It is gratifying to see the design mature from the Preliminary Design Review to the Critical Design Review over the past 12 months,” said Steve Enewold, Northrop Grumman vice president and program manager for BAMS. “The System Development and Demonstration program’s first two fuselages are under construction at our Moss Point, Miss., facility and the first will ship next month to our Palmdale Manufacturing Center in California for final assembly and first flight next year.”
The MQ-4C system CDR, which was preceded by 10 subsystem and segment CDRs, sets the initial product baseline for the MQ-4C system. The government and Northrop Grumman teams will be working to close out action items which were generated at the review to officially close CDR. The MQ-4C BAMS UAS air vehicle is a marinized version of the U.S. Air Force RQ-4B Global Hawk. Changes to the RQ-4B include a stronger wing, an ice protection system and a sensor suite based upon components of (or entire systems) already fielded in the Department of Defense inventory.
“The entire team has done a very thorough and exhaustive job in detail design,” said Capt. Bob Dishman, the Navy’s BAMS UAS program manager. “Now the program will shift its attention to integration and test with the same level of rigor to ensure we deliver an operationally effective and suitable capability on time and on budget.”
The MQ-4C CDR was an exhaustive week-long review jointly chaired by both
Northrop Grumman and Naval Air Systems Command and included participants from Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Air Force, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, and Navy fleet representatives from the Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Force among many others. During the week, the system design was thoroughly analyzed and Technical Review Board members left with a comprehensive understanding of the program risks as the MQ-4C progresses to its next major milestone, Test Readiness Review which is planned for the fall of this year. The BAMS UAS program continues to meet its acquisition baseline cost, schedule and performance requirements. The Northrop Grumman MQ-4C BAMS UAS is a versatile maritime intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft system that will perform maritime missions independently or in direct collaboration with fleet assets. BAMS will play a key role in providing fleet commanders with a persistent, reliable picture of maritime surface contacts, covering vast areas of open ocean and littoral regions in a highly efficient manner.

03 Mar 11. Insitu Pacific and SELEX Galileo are collaborating on rapidly integrating SELEX Galileo’s best-in-class high-resolution synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) PicoSAR into the Integrator Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS). Equipped with PicoSAR’s active electronically scanned array (AESA) and ground moving target indicator (GMTI) technology, Integrator will deliver the highest-resolution SAR imagery available on any tactical UAS in service today.

28 Feb 11. US Marine Corps set to receive two A160T Hummingbirds. Boeing is set to deliver two A160T Hummingbird unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to the US Marine Corps (USMC) in March. The company has six platforms on the production line at its facility in Mesa, Arizona, where one will be completed every month from April. (Source: Jane’s, IDR)

05 Mar 11. A prototype miniature space shuttle blasted off aboard an unmanned Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Saturday for a demonstration run that could last as long as nine months. The experimental vehicle, known as the Orbital Test Vehicle, or OTV, lifted off at 5:46 p.m. EST. It is the second ship to be put in space under the U.S. military’s X-37B program. The vehicles are smaller versions of NASA’s space shuttle orbiters — 29

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