Military Embedded Systems

UAS anti-submarine warfare capability demoed with Northrop Grumman


February 04, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Stock image.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. Northrop Grumman Corporation and U.K.-based Ultra equipped a modified, manned Bell 407 (acting as an MQ-8C Fire Scout surrogate) platform with Ultra sonobuoys, receiver, and processor to complete an unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability demonstration.

According to the company, this demonstration of the UAS ASW mission was the first time a vertical takeoff surrogate unmanned aerial system (VTUAS) had been used to conduct a large area multistatic acoustic search. The mission payload and effects were controlled from the ground with the resultant ASW picture disseminated to locations across the globe.

By jointly developing and demonstrating UAS ASW capabilities, initially on an MQ-8C Fire Scout manned surrogate as part of an industry-led initiative, the two companies are aiming to bring ASW solutions to global customers. Officials claim that while the U.S. Navy has not yet identified a clear requirement for UAS ASW capability, it has shown interest in the development and continues to support and monitor progress.   

When operating in a manned-unmanned teaming concept, Fire Scout is designed to enable commanders to employ manned assets in a more focused manner, allowing them to exploit hybrid manned/unmanned teaming opportunities.


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