Northrop Grumman will design an autonomous aircraft system capable of taking off from and landing vertically on a moving naval ship at sea.
Under a new Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program, the contractor said Thursday it will develop an AdvaNced airCraft Infrastructure-Less Launch And RecoverY demonstrator with increased payload capacity and endurance to support intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting missions.
The runway-independent aircraft is envisioned to be capable of carrying a large sensor payload with 100 nautical miles range and 20 hours of endurance.
Northrop is among the nine companies selected to design and demonstrate a vertical landing and takeoff aircraft that can be deployed and recovered without launchers and recovery equipment under the Phase Ia award of the ANCILLARY program.
Tim Frei, vice president of research and advanced design at Northrop, said, “[The program will enable the company to] combine our digital engineering expertise with extensive knowledge and insights from past successes in developing and operating uncrewed vertical lift aircraft for the U.S. Navy.”