Northrop Grumman, September 14, 2001 - SAN DIEGO (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation recently took delivery of the first Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) RQ-8A Fire Scout Vertical Takeoff and Landing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle from Schweizer Aircraft Corporation, the airframe producer.
Dubbed E-1, this is the first of two EMD air vehicles that will be used for risk-reduction testing for the Fire Scout system. During the next several months, E-1 will be outfitted with operational software and undergo extensive system integration testing in preparation for EMD flights scheduled for the first half of 2002. The second EMD vehicle is expected to be delivered later this fall.
Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems sector is presently flying a company-owned manned version of the Fire Scout near its San Diego facility to test air vehicle performance and handling characteristics.
The Fire Scout system will provide the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps reconnaissance, situational awareness and precision targeting support. The system is designed to autonomously take off from and land on any aviation-capable ship or confined land area. It will provide coverage 110 nautical miles from its launch site using a baseline payload that includes electro-optical/infrared sensors and a laser designator.
The first low-rate initial production system will be deployed with the Marine Corps and will include three air vehicles, two ground control stations, a data link suite, remote data terminals and modular mission payloads.
The Fire Scout industry team includes Northrop Grumman's Electronic Systems sector based in Baltimore, Md., which is teamed with TAMAM-Israel Aircraft Industries and is responsible for the sensor payload. In addition to Schweizer Aircraft, Elmira, N.Y., the team also includes Lockheed Martin Federal Systems, Owego, N.Y.; L-3 Communications, Salt Lake City, Utah; and Sierra Nevada Corporation, Sparks, Nev.
Northrop Grumman's Integrated Systems, based in Dallas, Tex., is a premier aerospace systems integration enterprise. Integrated Systems has the capabilities to design, develop, integrate, produce and support complete systems, as well as airframe subsystems, for airborne surveillance and battle management aircraft, early warning aircraft, airborne electronic warfare aircraft and air combat aircraft.