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.

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