Northrop Grumman and Martin UAV have jointly tested new targeting and navigation features of the V-BAT unmanned aircraft system being offered for a U.S. Army program to replace its RQ-7B Shadow drone.
V-BAT, a lightweight UAS operated by a two-man team, can carry a wide range of mission payloads including those designed for electronic warfare, electro-optical/infrared imaging and synthetic aperture radar, Northrop said Wednesday.
The UAS flew at North Dakota-based Camp Grafton to demonstrate flight with target designation technologies and navigation features designed to function in GPS-denied environments.
Kenn Todorov, sector vice president and general manager of global sustainment and modernization at Northrop Grumman, said the updated V-BAT allows for vertical take-off and landing as required by the Army’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System program.
FTUAS seeks an expeditionary VTOL platform that can navigate through GPS-denied areas and perform aerial reconnaissance for brigade combat teams, rangers and special forces.
Shield AI, Martin UAV’s current parent company, also plans to integrate the Hivemind autonomy stack into V-BAT.