Northrop Grumman and Ultra Electronics have agreed to enter into a partnership agreement to deliver improved global maritime safety, security and domain awareness.

Both the companies have signed a memorandum of agreement, under which new maritime domain awareness (MDA) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities will be developed for Northrop Grumman’s family of autonomous systems.

The partnership will primarily focus on developing enhanced long endurance systems with sensors and open mission systems integrated architectures, as well as persistent acoustic surveillance capabilities for ASW mission and maritime intelligence gathering.

"Northrop Grumman’s numerous unmanned capabilities provide a perfect fit to our maritime surveillance capabilities."

Northrop Grumman, autonomous systems vice-president Brian Chappel said: "Ultra Electronics is a global leader in the design, development and delivery of solutions for surface and undersea acoustic surveillance.

"Combined with Northrop Grumman’s decades of autonomous systems experience, we seek to improve global maritime safety, security and domain awareness."

As part of the agreement, each company will use its expertise and mature technologies to develop capabilities that will be affordable and available in less time.

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Ultra Electronics maritime and land division president William Terry said: "Northrop Grumman’s numerous unmanned capabilities provide a perfect fit to our maritime surveillance capabilities.

"We know this long-term collaborative effort gives our customers an affordable, game changing capability."

Later this year, the companies are scheduled to demonstrate how autonomous systems can persistently monitor oceans and littoral areas for longer periods of time to collect maritime intelligence.

The demonstrations will also seek to show that the use of autonomous systems will allow manned aircraft to be deployed for other specific mission sets.