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Northrop Grumman Opens Integration Lab For Fire Scout UAV

The Fire Scout

San Diego CA (SPX) Jul 22, 2005
On July 19, Northrop Grumman Corporation opened its new System Integration Laboratory for the U.S. Army's RQ-8B Fire Scout vertical takeoff and landing unmanned air vehicle (UAV). The laboratory provides a place for the Fire Scout team to test and refine the UAV.

The Fire Scout will serve as one of the largest UAVs in the Army's network of manned and unmanned vehicles that work together to perform a variety of functions on the battlefield. Fire Scout will perform reconnaissance and relay information as part of this network.

The new laboratory is a significant step toward meeting the Army's demand for a big-picture network it can use to better understand the battlefield environment and simultaneously communicate among several of its assets.

"This laboratory underscores our continued commitment to refine existing technology that our Army customer needs to meet its vision of how they will conduct operations in the future," said Nick Yorio, Northrop Grumman's director of tactical unmanned systems.

The $2 million, 1,857 square-foot laboratory boasts four simulation workstations, which enable engineers to validate new software and hardware for the Army Fire Scout. The lab is also connected to ground-control stations at the facility, which will be used by soldiers on the battlefield to monitor the UAV and manually control it if needed.

Another version of the Fire Scout is currently being developed to work on board the U.S. Navy's Littoral Combat Ship and has flown more than 140 hours over the course of 151 flights. The Navy Fire Scout is scheduled to test fire weapons later this month in Yuma, Ariz.

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Japan Launches UAV Program
Washington, (UPI) July 22, 2005
Japan has started its own unmanned aerial vehicle development program and aims to produce two prototypes by fiscal 2012 for $200 million.

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