SAN DIEGO, Nov. 18, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- From now until the end of January, foreigners who cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally into Arizona will have to contend with more than just rugged terrain, desert heat and rattlesnakes. They will also have to be on the lookout for Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-developed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) being used by the Department of Homeland Security to help monitor illegal border traffic as part of the new Arizona Border Control.
In early November, two U.S. Army RQ-5 Hunter UAVs equipped with electro optical infrared sensors began making reconnaissance flights along the Arizona border area 90 miles southeast of Tucson.
"A critical part of Northrop Grumman's layered defense approach to homeland security is to help strengthen the weakest links in the nation's defense," said David Zolet, vice president, Homeland Security, Northrop Grumman Corporation. "Unmanned aerial vehicles provide unparalleled surveillance capabilities that not only cause greater levels of apprehension among potential terrorists, but also provide safer working conditions for Border Patrol agents who risk their lives on a daily basis."
Hunter is just one of several UAVs in Northrop Grumman's portfolio of unmanned systems that could support the Arizona Border Control's surveillance and reconnaissance requirements.
"Hunter UAVs provide a variety of battle-tested capabilities and sensor options that are well suited to Border Patrol operations," said Chris Hernandez, sector vice president for Northrop Grumman's Unmanned Systems unit in San Diego. "These capabilities include sustained autonomous flight, high resolution day and night time visual and infrared sensors, integrated GPS location systems, and the ability to relay communication signals to border patrol agents."
In addition, says Hernandez, individuals on the ground may be unaware of this law enforcement activity because of the vehicle's low visual profile at altitude and its quiet engine.
The Arizona Border Patrol initiative is an effort by the U.S. Border Patrol to stem the tide of illegal border crossings from Mexico. Use of new technologies, such as UAVs, helps the border patrol provide more comprehensive and complete coverage over a variety of terrains. The Border Patrol is now part of U.S. Customs and Border Protection within the Department of Homeland Security.
Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems is a premier aerospace and defense systems integration organization. Headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., it designs, develops, produces and supports integrated systems and subsystems optimized for use on networks. For its government and civil customers worldwide, Integrated Systems delivers best-value solutions, products and services that support military and homeland defense missions in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; space access; battle management command and control; and integrated strike warfare.
CONTACT: Heather Back Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems (858) 618-4405 office firstname.lastname@example.org