Northrop Grumman has started construction of its X-47B Joint Unmanned Combat Air Systems (J-UCAS) aircraft, the world's first unmanned surveillance attack aircraft that can operate from both land bases and aircraft carriers.
Production is taking place in the St. Louis, Mo., manufacturing facility of Northrop Grumman's teammate, GKN Aerospace. GKN is responsible for both the design and fabrication of the X-47B's forward fuselage. Final assembly of the first X-47B will begin this summer at Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. facility.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)/U.S. Air Force/U.S. Navy J-UCAS program will demonstrate the technical feasibility and operational utility of low-observable-or "stealth" -land- and sea-based unmanned surveillance attack aircraft, and provide the Air Force and Navy the option to acquire these systems early in the next decade.
The X-47B design demonstrates a variety of foundational system capabilities including land- and carrier-based operations and automated aerial refueling.
The design also demonstrates key mission-requirement capabilities such as persistent surveillance and reconnaissance, all-weather precision targeting, and precision attack of fixed and mobile surface targets.
The X-47B is Northrop Grumman's initial air-vehicle configuration for the modular X-47 system, which can support a broad range of advanced unmanned air-vehicle configurations and military operational performance requirements.
Northrop Grumman's J-UCAS program is led by the company's Integrated Systems sector. Other major industry teammates include Lockheed Martin Corporation and Pratt & Whitney.
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MathWorks Tools Helps Design UAV Testbed
Natick MA (SPX) Jun 01, 2005
MathWorks reports that its aerospace software has enabled Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems Sector to develop the Northrop Grumman Trajectory Generation (NGTG) software package of advanced real-time trajectory generation flight software for use in an unmanned aerial vehicle flying test bed.
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