Northrop reveals two new UAV concepts

The revelation of two all-new aircraft concepts from Northrop Grummanshow that the manufacturer is planning an aggressive new push to expanddeeper into the market for unmanned air vehicles.

The two concept designs - MQ-X and MUVR - also are the first glimpseinside Northrop's internal strategy for addressing two of the USmilitary's potential requirements in the next decade.

MQ-X is the US Air Force term for a future replacement of the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator/MQ-9 family of UAVs.

MUVR, meanwhile, has been identified by Northrop as a UAV that is designed to resupply the navy's ships.

Both images appeared in a 10-month-old briefing by a Northrop Grummanexecutive to potential subcontractors. In a slide entitled "today'sfocused opportunity set", the images of MQ-X and MUVR appeared in aline-up of the company's airborne programs, which then included theKC-45 tanker, aerial common sensor and EP-X.

Northrop now says both concepts are outdated, but confirms they areproducts of a new advanced concepts division established in January2009 under the leadership of vice president and general manager PaulMeyer.

Both of Northrop's nearly year-old design concepts for MQ-X and MUVRappear to appropriate key technologies from the company's past even asit looks to the future.

The image of the MQ-X design concept bears more than a passingresemblance to the nose and fuselage of the RQ-4 Global Hawk, althoughthe wings and tail surfaces are designed to meet the requirements for amedium-altitude, multipurpose UAV.

The fan-in-wing MUVR concept, meanwhile, borrows the vertical take-offand landing system last seen on the shortlived Ryan XV-5 Vertiplane. Asthe company that acquired Teledyne Ryan more than a decade ago,Northrop is the legacy manufacturer of the XV-5.

Northrop officials first acknowledged the MUVR's existence at lastyear's Paris air show after being asked to identify a grainy image thatappeared in a presentation for the news media.

The blurry shape on the slide was first identified as a new UAV calledWildThing, but Northrop later corrected the name of the aircraft toMUVR.

Northrop has declined to release further information about the MUVRconcept, including what the acronym stands for, saying such detailsmight compromise the company's strategy.

Posted in . Bookmark the permalink. RSS feed for this post.

Leave a Reply

Powered by Blogger.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark. Converted by