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Northrop Grumman receives $190 million Hunter drone contract
by Geoff Ziezulewicz
Washington (UPI) Nov 01, 2016

U.S. Navy's first drone squadron stands up
Jacksonville, Fla. (UPI) Oct 31, 2016 -The U.S. Navy's first drone squadron was stood up Friday at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla.

The new unit will be known as Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 and is comprised of Northrop Grumman-built MQ-4C Triton drones.

The squadron will be co-located with manned P-8A Poseidon squadrons and will fall under Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing 11, the U.S. Naval Institute reported last week.

Its first deployment to U.S. 7th Fleet is slated for 2018, the institute reported.

While the squadron does not yet have any air vehicles, they are slated to arrive late next year.

Until then, squadron members are rotating through Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland to train with the test pilots who are stationed there.

A Triton trainer will arrive in Jacksonville in January for training.

The new squadron's crews will also collaborate with P-8 pilots to develop tactics, techniques and procedures, the naval institute reports.

Unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 commanding officer, Cmdr. Benjamin Stinespring, called the standing up of the squadron "historic," WOKV reported.

"(Unmanned aircraft) is the way of the future and the Triton is the epitome of that," Stinespring was quoted as saying.

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. has received a $190 million U.S. Army contract for support work on the MQ-5B Hunter drone program.

In particular, the cost-plus-fixed-fee contract covers continuation of contractor logistic support for the unmanned system.

Work will be performed in Arizona and Afghanistan, with an estimated completion date of October 2018.

The Army Contracting Command is the contracting entity.

Northrop's Hunter drones are deployed at Army bases in the United States and overseas.

It is a long-endurance, medium-altitude, multi-mission drone that offers dedicated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.

Hunter has seen more than 20 years of service.

Northrop Grumman gets Fire Scout drone contract modification
Washington (UPI) Oct 31, 2016 - Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. has received a $10 million U.S. Navy contract modification for the production of one MQ-8C Fire Scout drone.

The deal modifies a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm target contract.

Work will be performed in California, Alabama, Texas, Mississippi and other U.S. locations.

The expected completion date is August 2019.

The Fire Scout provides reconnaissance, situational awareness and precision targeting support for ground, air and sea forces. It can operate from guided missile frigates and littoral combat ships.

The MQ-8C variant has a range of 150 nautical miles and a payload capacity of more than 700 pounds.

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