Thursday, February 25, 2010

Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout Deploys Unmanned Ground Vehicles

Northrop Grumman's Fire Scout Deploys Unmanned Ground Vehicles
February 25, 2010

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Fire Scout Vertical Unmanned Aircraft System (VUAS) demonstrated how the U.S. Army and other land forces could rely on its ability to ferry unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) and other logistics items into combat zones during the Army's recent Expeditionary Warrior Experiment (AEWE) at Fort Benning, Ga.

Fire Scout demonstrated how the soldier can rely on its multifunctional capability for force protection, reconnaissance surveillance target acquisition (RSTA) and communications relay that only a VUAS of its caliber can provide.

During the AEWE, Fire Scout flew to a named area of interest,
surveyed the area to ensure it was clear, and landed autonomously
within its pre-planned landing point. When Fire Scout's on-board skid
sensors detected contact with the ground, a command was sent to release
the unmanned ground vehicle. Seconds later, Fire Scout ascended and
then loitered at a higher altitude to observe and provide a relay for
commands between the UGV and its controller.

"Use of an unmanned system to carry other unmanned systems into
battle could improve the speed of operations while protecting U.S.
lives," said Al Nikolaus, program manager of land-based Fire Scout at
Northrop Grumman's Aerospace Systems sector. "This demonstration
provides another example of Fire Scout's maturity, reliability,
flexibility, and its ability to operate successfully with currently
deployed systems."

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