HERNDON, Va., Oct. 26, 2009 -- The U.S. Army Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) office has awarded Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) a $6.2 million contract to move the Army's Hunter UAS training and engineering test facilities from Cochise College Flight Line, Douglas, Ariz., to the new Rapid Integration and Acceptance Center (RIAC), Michael Army Airfield, Dugway Proving Ground, Utah.
"We're happy to work shoulder to shoulder with the Army to make this move happen," said Karl Purdy, Northrop Grumman Technical Services program manager. "The move allows the Army to achieve synergy by having UAS assets in one location to improve interoperability and efficiency of assets."
The MQ-5B Hunter, which is currently deployed in contingency operations, provides warfighters with state-of-the-art Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA), communications relay, signal intelligence, and weapons delivery. Hunter has nearly 82,000 flight hours, 56,000 of which are combat-related.
The RQ-5A Hunter was the Army's first fielded UAS. The MQ-5B is the next-generation Hunter, continuing a legacy of service to Army corps, division and brigade warfighters. Flying over the battlefield with its multi-mission optronic payload, the MQ-5B gathers RSTA information in real time and relays it via video link to commanders on the ground to dramatically reduce sensor-to-shooter time.
The MQ-5B Hunter is distinguished by its heavy fuel engines, its "wet" (fuel-carrying) extended center wing with weapons-capable hard points and a modern avionics suite. The UAS uses the Army's One System ground control station and remote video terminal. It also carries a communications relay package to extend the radio range of warfighters. The MQ-5B features a robust, fixed-wing, twin tail-boom design with redundant control systems powered by two heavy fuel engines.
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