TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif., July 13, 2011 -- Using real-time video imagery distributed from Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) on-demand intelligence system, Marines successfully completed live-fire targeting exercises on the Marine Corps' extensive ranges here. For the first time, warfighters used the Heterogeneous Airborne Reconnaissance Team (HART) system to simultaneously and autonomously manage two unmanned aircraft to track a moving target, and enable a live-fire strike and destruction. The demonstrations were conducted June 13-24, 2011.
"Just on the heels of our recent success at the Spiral 7 DARPA field exercise, this live-fire targeting demonstration gives us great insight into how to perfect this quick reaction capability for warfighters," said Scott Winship, vice president of advanced concepts-air and land systems at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. "We are committed to providing warfighters with the most relevant capabilities packaged in a way for easy operation and use. The on-demand, real-time video, surveillance and reconnaissance information provided by HART put 'eyes' on threats to the mission."
During the exercise, control of two Raven unmanned aircraft was passed from a traditional operator to the HART system operated by a warfighter in the field. The warfighter then submitted a service request for a Raven to locate the target for a potential strike. Transiting to the target area, the Raven orbited the target while the warfighter pulled geo-registered coordinates of the target – which in this case was an enemy missile on a launcher – and passed those coordinates through HART to the mortar battery, which then launched a strike on the target. Mission completion was verified through video delivered by the Raven under HART control.
The HART system automates the acquisition and delivery of real-time intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) information from airborne ISR assets directly to the tactical warfighter who submits service requests from a handheld computer. HART gathers service requests from the warfighter, prioritizes them in accordance with guidance from the combat commander, and determines the best approach to acquiring and delivering the requested information.
Since its initial demonstration in 2005, HART has been successfully integrated with the Raven, Wasp, Pointer, BatMav, C-12 ARMS/MARS, ScanEagle, Shadow, Bat and Hunter unmanned air systems (UAS) — all without requiring modification to either platform or ground station. HART is also capable of interacting and integrating with current and future U.S. Department of Defense UAS, including Global Hawk, BAMS, Predator-Reaper, Gray Eagle, Fire Scout and UCLASS.
The HART system is in the final stages of preparation for fielding. Adoption of HART is under active consideration by all military services.
Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit www.northropgrumman.com for more information.
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