US Navy Expands Surveillance Mission for NGC-Built Maritime Unmanned Aircraft

The U.S. Navy will increase by 50 percent the monthly surveillance flights of a Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)-built maritime unmanned demonstrator under a contract awarded Sept. 6. The contract will allow Navy commanders to keep closer tabs on activities in the ocean and coastal regions of the Middle East.

Under terms of the $9.98 million award, the company will provide maintenance, operations and other support services to enable the Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstration (BAMS-D) aircraft to fly 15 missions per month, up from nine missions per month in previous years.

"The Navy planned a six-month demonstration of the BAMS-D aircraft in 2009 to test the maritime surveillance capabilities of the system," said Mike Mackey, Northrop Grumman program director for the Triton unmanned aircraft program that includes the BAMS-D. "That demonstration was so successful that the service has used them for more than four years now."

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Based on the Global Hawk unmanned air system designed for land surveillance, the BAMS-D systems were modified to work in a maritime environment. In April, the aircraft surpassed 10,000 flight hours.

The BAMS-D aircraft regularly fly missions more than 24 hours long. Flying at high altitude, they can monitor and gather imagery from vast areas of ocean and coastal regions.

Source: Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)
Date: Sep 18, 2013