Northrop Grumman’s Hunter UAS surpasses 1,00,000 combat flight hours
Northrop Grumman Corporation’s (NOC) Hunter unmanned aircraft system (UAS), in use with the US Army since 1996, recently surpassed 1,00,000 combat flight hours in service. The MQ-5B Hunter, which is currently deployed supporting contingency operations across the globe, provides warfighters with state-of-the-art reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition (RSTA), communications relay and weapons delivery.
“Our very close working relationship with our Army customer has been critical to the programme’s enduring success,” said Steve Hogan, Vice President and General Manager, Integrated Logistics and Modernization division, Northrop Grumman Technical Services. “The team’s innovative partnering approach has been seamless over the years. The team has established an impeccable track record of continuous modernisation and highly reliable performance while serving on the front lines shoulder-to-shoulder with our nation’s warfighters in combat operations.”
The RQ-5A Hunter was the Army’s first fielded UAS. The MQ-5B is the next-generation Hunter, continuing a legacy of service to Army corps, division and brigade warfighters. Flying over the battlefield with its multimission optronic payload, the MQ-5B gathers RSTA information in real time and relays it via video link to com- manders and soldiers on the ground.
The MQ-5B Hunter is distinguished by its heavy fuel engines, its “wet” (fuel-carrying) extended centre wing with weapons-capable hard points and a modern avionics suite. The MQ-5B Hunter system uses the Army’s One System ground control station and remote video terminal. It also carries a communications relay package to extend the radio range of warfighters. Hunter is also equipped with a differential GPS automatic take-off and landing system.