Northrop Grumman Corporation's Integrated Systems sector will continue its work on a naval unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV-N) for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the U.S. Navy under a recently awarded modification to an existing agreement.
The goal of the joint DARPA/Navy UCAV-N program is to demonstrate the technical feasibility for an unmanned system to effectively and affordably conduct sea-based surveillance, strike and suppression of enemy air defense missions within the emerging global command and control architecture.
Under the $10 million contract modification, which runs until Sept. 30, 2004, Northrop Grumman will conduct additional technology and risk-reduction studies, including modeling and simulation of autonomous flight operations from an aircraft carrier.
In 2000, Northrop Grumman was awarded a Phase I UCAV-N contract for $2 million to conduct trade studies, analysis and preliminary system design.
In addition, the company has invested its own funds in the X-47A Pegasus, an experimental unmanned vehicle system that will demonstrate aerodynamic qualities suitable for autonomous aircraft carrier flight operations. Results of the Pegasus flight demonstrations later this year will be used in the UCAV-N program.