Marking its European debut, Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Firebird product line was showcased at last month’s Royal International Air Tattoo
at RAF Fairford (in the UK).
The company also signed agreements with Tenax Aerospace and Grand Sky Development Co for rights to purchase Firebird, the company’s new ‘optionally piloted’ intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) aircraft system.
Brian Chappel, vice-president (autonomous systems) at Northrop Grumman, said: “Flexibility — whether in cockpit configuration, payloads, or in owning and purchasing Firebird — is at the core of what makes this aircraft such an attractive ISR option for government partners and private industry.
"Having flown over two dozen sensors on Firebird’s proven architecture, we are ready to offer Firebird to a wide range of nations, US government and civilian agencies, and businesses with critical data collection needs.”
Northrop Grumman’s Firebird product line (www.northropgrumman.com
), which delivers medium-altitude long-endurance multi-mission flexibility, is available in manned, autonomous and optionally piloted configurations.
Grand Sky is the USA’s first commercial unmanned aerial vehicle testing and training centre; it is located in Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Tenax Aerospace is a leading provider of special mission aircraft and related aviation services to the US government and commercial customers.
Firebird is equipped with wide-band Line-of-Sight and/or Beyond-Line-of-Sight data links, onboard storage, and accessible processing for rapid data exploitation to ensure “timely completion of missions for industry and government customers”.
The aircraft offers 30-plus hours of endurance and an operating ceiling up to 25,000ft.