Bat aircraft performing tactical mission

Northrop Grumman has successfully conducted flight trials of its Bat unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), integrated with internal miniature electronic attack payload, at the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California, US.

During the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One (MAWTS-1) Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) event, the Bat UAV performed multiple flights alongside fixed-wing and other unmanned platforms.

The Pandora electronic attack payload onboard the Bat runway independent unmanned system successfully jammed radars and validated its capability.

Bat is an affordable, medium-altitude, multi-mission unmanned aircraft system, designed to be configured with various fuel tanks and different sensor payloads.

Northrop Grumman Medium Range Tactical Systems vice-president George Vardoulakis said the Bat UAV offers a more mobile and affordable option for electronic warfare missions.

"Bat continues to demonstrate capabilities that can normally only be achieved by larger, more expensive unmanned aircraft," Vardoulakis said.

The lightweight, multifunction Pandora electronic attack payload, which is a low-cost derivative of Northrop Grumman’s family of upgraded digital APR-39 systems, offers electronic attack, support and protection.

Featuring a blended body design, the unmanned aircraft can support tactical missions including intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, target acquisition and communications relay.

The Bat runway-independent and fully autonomous tactical aircraft can be launched from land or sea while its flexible design enables quick installation of a variety of payloads for rapid, expeditionary deployment.

Powered by both the Hirth electronic fuel-injection engine and heavy fuel-variant, the flexible, self-contained expeditionary system can be launched from a pneumatic/hydraulic rail launcher and recover into a net recovery system.

Image: Northrop-built Bat unmanned aircraft performing tactical mission. Photo: courtesy of Northrop Grumman Corp.

Defence Technology