Moog Aircraft Group has been contracted to deliver its complete flight control actuation system for the tactically exploited reconnaissance node (TERN) unmanned aircraft.
Tern is a joint programme between Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the US Office of Naval Research (ONR).
The programme seeks to deploy smaller ships as mobile launch-and-recovery sites for medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
Under the contract awarded by Northrop Grumman, Moog will manufacture, design and assess the flight control actuation system for the full-scale demonstration aircraft, including flight control actuators, actuator-control electronics and accessories.
Moog Aircraft Group vice-president Tim Baptist said: "We have been working with Northrop Grumman on unmanned aircraft flight controls for more than a decade and are delighted to have been selected as a key system supplier on this platform."
The programme also involves the development of economical, large-scale Tern prototype vehicle phases, which will exhibit the automatic launch-and-recovery and key technologies necessary for a Tern objective system.
The Moog flight control system employs redundant actuation to support vertical take-off and landing and cruise flight.
Under the development programme, the company will provide proprietary actuator-control electronics and flight-critical software.
The Moog solution leverages on the company’s experience and proven designs to reduce programme risk and lead times, with initial products scheduled to be delivered after one year.
In 2014, Moog was awarded a $33.8m contract by the US Navy to supply more than 1,000 actuators for the next ten Virginia-class nuclear submarines.