BALTIMORE and RESTON, Va., June 16, 2003 (PRIMEZONE) -- The U.S. Army's Hunter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), equipped with a Tactical UAV Radar (TUAVR), successfully demonstrated enhanced reconnaissance capabilities during a May 8-14 series of operational missions at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) produces both the Hunter and the TUAVR. The company's Electronic Systems sector provides the TUAVR and its Mission Systems sector produces the Hunter.
Cosponsored by the Army's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Robotics and Unmanned Sensors program offices, the activity showcased a new ground-operated synthetic aperture radar and moving target indicator (SAR/MTI) developed by Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector.
"This exercise underscored again that sustained cooperation between sister sectors of Northrop Grumman can be leveraged to provide the Army with outstanding full-up solutions to its requirements," said William H. Forster, vice president of Land Combat Systems at Northrop Grumman.
Previous cooperative efforts between Electronic Systems and Mission Systems led to the highly successful integration of the Bat and Viper Strike precision munitions with Hunter.
The SAR provided clear, high-resolution ground imaging that enabled soldier operators to rapidly detect and classify stationary military vehicle targets. The MTI capability allowed them to detect and map the paths of moving vehicle convoys.
The demonstration culminated in a mission involving two Hunters, one carrying the SAR/MTI and the other equipped with the Hunter's standard electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensor payload. Using the radar's SAR/MTI toggling capability and sensor cross-cueing techniques, operators were able to survey the entire target area. They detected and located both stationary and moving targets with the TUAVR and positively identified them with the EO/IR payload.
"These soldier operators achieved outstanding results, despite having received only two weeks of familiarization training on the radar," said John Michitsch, vice president of ground, air and unattended vehicle systems at Northrop Grumman. "The exercise demonstrated the technical performance and operator-friendly maturity of the TUAVR system, which we plan to offer in fulfillment of the Army's Extended Range Multipurpose UAV radar requirement."
The UAV carrying the SAR/MTI was also fitted with an experimental de-icing system that autonomously senses and removes ice from critical surfaces. The system consists of a network of embedded wires of opposed electrical polarity that generate rapid impulses. The combination of SAR/MTI and de-icing capability enables reconnaissance missions under adverse weather conditions that include heavy cloud cover and extreme temperatures.
Another Hunter upgrade, an extended center wing, is currently being installed on units deployed in Iraq.
"Hunter performed superbly in Operation Iraqi Freedom, flying more than 200 reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition missions," said Otto Guenther, vice president of tactical systems at Northrop Grumman. "Further enhancing the system's performance, this wing extension will lengthen the endurance of the production UAV to more than 15 hours on station or provide the capability to deploy precision weapons."
Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector, headquartered in Baltimore, Md., is a world leader in the design, development, and manufacture of defense and commercial electronics systems, including airborne radar systems, navigation systems, electronic warfare systems, precision weapons, airspace management systems, air defense systems, communications systems, space systems, marine systems, oceanic and naval systems, government systems, and logistic services.
With headquarters in Reston, Va., Northrop Grumman Mission Systems is a leading global integrator of complex, mission-enabling systems and services for federal agencies engaged in defense and intelligence activities as well as federal civilian organizations, state and local governments, and commercial clients. Leveraging 50 years of expertise, the sector's technology leadership spans strategic systems; missile defense; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; command and control; and technical services and training. Mission Systems has 15,000 employees in more than 300 locations around the world.
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LEARN MORE ABOUT US: Northrop Grumman news releases, product information, photos and video clips are available on the Internet at: http://www.northropgrumman.com . Information specific to the Mission Systems sector is available at: www.ms.northropgrumman.com/index.html
CONTACT: Hunter UAV Contact: Janis Lamar, (703) 345-7046 Northrop Grumman Mission Systems TUAVR Contact: Jack Martin Jr., (410) 765-4441 Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems