Northrop Grumman Corporation and Martin UAV have completed successful flight testing of a V-BAT unmanned aircraft system (UAS) with new features, including GPS-denied navigation and target designation capabilities.
Martin UAV’s V-BAT UAS is the basis for the company’s entry for the U.S. Army’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) program, which seeks to develop a rapidly deployable, GPS-denied navigation-capable, expeditionary VTOL unmanned aircraft platform that can provide persistent aerial reconnaissance for U.S. Army Brigade Combat Teams, Special Forces, and Ranger battalions.
The compact and lightweight V-BAT UAS is simple to operate, and can be set up, launched and recovered by a two-soldier team in confined environments. The platform has been designed with sufficient payload capacity to carry a range of interchangeable payloads, including electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR), synthetic aperture radar (SAR), and electronic warfare (EW) payloads, depending on mission-specific requirements. Additionally, Shield AI’s recent acquisition of Martin UAV will enable rapid development of GPS-denied and autonomy capabilities for V-BAT through the future porting of Shield AI’s Hivemind autonomy stack onto V-BAT.
Kenn Todorov, sector vice president and general manager for global sustainment and modernization at Northrop Grumman, commented: “The enhanced V-BAT offers a near zero footprint, flexible vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capability that is based on a platform deployed operationally today, to address the U.S. Army’s Future Tactical Unmanned Aircraft System (FTUAS) mission. The team brings more than 30 years’ experience in the production, delivery and sustainment of unmanned aircraft systems to support this critical mission today and into the future.”