EL SEGUNDO, Calif., April 29, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) X-47A Pegasus team has completed another milestone on the road to first flight with the successful autonomous start and shutdown of the experimental unmanned aircraft's engine.
With a click of a computer mouse, the air vehicle operator executed a command from inside the test control center at the Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems facility here, which allowed the X-47A to autonomously sequence through the engine start series and come to idle. Test team engineers then confirmed subsystems and engine performance. Once satisfied that all systems were working as planned, the operator initiated an autonomous shutdown of the Pratt & Whitney JT15D engine.
This sequence was repeated several times. According to Dave Mazur, Pegasus program manager, the X-47A performed flawlessly during the April 18 test.
Pegasus was built with company funds to demonstrate aerodynamic qualities suitable for autonomous operation from an aircraft carrier. The results will be used in Northrop Grumman's naval Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle (UCAV-N) program for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy. First flight of the X-47A is expected later this year.
The goal of the joint DARPA/Navy UCAV-N project is to demonstrate the technical feasibility for an unmanned system to effectively and affordably conduct sea-based surveillance, strike and suppression of enemy air defenses missions within the emerging global command and control architecture.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems, headquartered in Dallas, Texas, is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management, early warning, airborne electronic warfare and air combat aircraft. It is also integrating these capabilities for emerging network-centric warfare concepts.
Northrop Grumman Corporation is an $18 billion, global defense company with its worldwide headquarters in Los Angeles. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in defense and commercial electronics, systems integration, information technology and nuclear and non-nuclear shipbuilding and systems. With nearly 100,000 employees and operations in 44 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.
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CONTACT: Jim Hart Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (310) 331-3616