Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Northrop Grumman Fire Scout Aircraft Provided a Real-time Video Feed

Northrop Grumman Fire Scout Aircraft Provided a Real-time Video Feed
July 15, 2009

SAN DIEGO - A Northrop Grumman Corporation-developed (NYSE:NOC) MQ-8B Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (VTUAV) testing in the U.S. provided a real-time video feed of electro-optical/ infrared sensor (EO/IR) imagery to participants at the Paris Air Show recently.

The video feed was provided by a U.S. Navy aircraft flying from
the Webster Annex of NAS Patuxent River, Md. The aircraft operated in a
maritime training area the week of June 15 and was able to provide
real-time, continuous streaming imagery of selected areas on the
Chesapeake Bay and on the shoreline of Southern Maryland. Additionally,
as a test of Fire Scout's communications relay capability, the U.S.
Coast Guard operated a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB) as a primary
target on the water and the Air Vehicle Operator (AVO) communicated
directly to the RHIB via Fire Scout. The air vehicle was commanded to
"Clear Voice Relay" with one radio on an approved unused UHF frequency
and the other radio was set to the Maritime Band. This configuration
allowed direct communication between the AVO ashore and the RHIB
operating on the water.

Utilizing a FLIR Systems Inc. BriteStar II that includes EO/IR
with laser rangefinder/designator, the MQ-8B Fire Scout can find and
identify tactical targets, track and designate targets, accurately
provide targeting data to strike platforms and perform battle damage

"Fire Scout's ability to provide real-time EO/IR imagery in
this demonstration is significant because it shows the impressive
capability of the sensor and the ability to move data and imagery to
remote sites in support of warfighters in the field. Fire Scout has
once again proven its versatility and capability, and we experienced
very good feedback from potential customers who observed this demo,"
said Mike Fuqua, Business Development Manager at Northrop Grumman's
Aerospace Systems sector.

The U.S. Navy Fire Scout will complete Operational Evaluation
this summer and is slated to deploy aboard USS McInerney (FFG-8).

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security
company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products,
and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems,
shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial
customers worldwide.

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