EL SEGUNDO, Calif., March 26, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Integrated Systems sector has completed several milestones in preparation for the first flight of its X-47A Pegasus experimental unmanned air vehicle.
Earlier this month, the Pegasus flight test team successfully completed its third engine run test. That test, conducted March 16, as well as the earlier engine runs in December and January, are in preparation for the X-47A's first autonomous engine run later this spring.
The Pegasus team's most intensive work has been to test and integrate avionics and software in the systems integration laboratory at Northrop Grumman's Advanced Systems Development Center here.
"Conducting this extensive integration in a laboratory environment is critical to ensure the success of autonomous unmanned operations," said Bob Mitchell, vice president-Advanced Systems Development for Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems. "We are following the same process we used to develop past unmanned systems, including the Global Hawk and other programs."
After this phase of systems checkout is completed, the X-47A will be moved to Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, Calif., for taxi tests and first flight.
Pegasus is a company-funded aircraft Northrop Grumman designed to demonstrate aerodynamic qualities suitable for autonomous aircraft carrier flight operations. The results of the Pegasus demonstration effort later this year will be used in the company's work on a naval unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV-N) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy.
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.
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CONTACT: Jim Hart Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (310) 331-3616