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$50M For A-160 Hummingbird UAV Concept Demonstrators

Irvine CA (SPX) Aug 15, 2005
Boeing subsidiary Frontier Systems has received a $50 million ceiling-priced indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) of the A-160 Hummingbird Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) to assess its military utility and affordability.

The A-160 Hummingbird Warrior is a full-size VTOL UAV that has demonstrated the potential for performance comparable to fixed-wing aircraft with high payload, high altitude, and long duration capabilities, all the while maintaining the utility of a helicopter...

This program offers the potential for significant increases in VTOL UAV range (more than 2,000 nm) and/or endurance (24-48 hours).

It is being developed as a component of the DARPA/Army Future Combat Systems (FCS) Program, and is being evaluated for surveillance and targeting, communications and data relay, lethal and non-lethal weapons delivery, assured crew recovery, resupply of forces in the field, and special operations missions in support of Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and other Agency needs.

It will exploit a hingeless, rigid rotor concept operating at the optimum rotational speed to produce a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned air vehicle (UAV) with low disk loading and rotor tip speeds, resulting in an efficient low-power loiter and high-endurance system. Detailed design, fabrication and testing of this vehicle is being conducted to establish its performance, reliability, and maintainability.

In addition, this program will evaluate application of the optimum speed rotor concept to other systems including heavy lift and tilt rotor capabilities.

The program will also conduct development tests of heavy fuel engine technology and coordinate with other DARPA programs developing highly efficient heavy fuel engine technologies to further advance current range and endurance projection,s as well as improve operational reliability and logistics compatibility.

Work on this contract will be performed in Irvine, CA and is expected to be completed in August 2008. This contract was competitively procured under a Broad Agency Announcement. The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Patuxent River, MD issued the contract (N00421-05-D-0046).

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Northrop Grumman Conducts First Flight Of Modernized Hunter UAV
Sierra Vista AZ (SPX) Aug 11, 2005
Northrop Grumman has taken a significant step toward modernizing the U.S. Army's fleet of Hunter unmanned systems by conducting the first engineering flight of an enhanced, multi-mission variant of the current RQ-5A air vehicle called the MQ-5B.

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