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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

DARPA, Navy contract for new UAS-ship capability

X-47B UCLASSAeroVironment and Northrop Grumman are developing systems to allow small ships to launch and recover medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial systems.

The work on Phase 2 of the system under development, called Tern, was jointly commissioned by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and the U.S. Navy to provide long-range intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance over greater distances and time periods than is possible with current assets, including manned and unmanned helicopters.

"To offer the equivalent of land-based UAS capabilities from small-deck ships, our Phase 2 performers are each designing a new unmanned air system intended to enable two previously unavailable capabilities: 1. the ability for a UAS to take off and land from very confined spaces in elevated sea states; and 2. the ability for such a UAS to transition to efficient long-duration cruise missions," said Dan Patt, DARPA program manager.

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