Northrop Grumman worked with Yamaha Motor to develop an unmanned helicopter system for activities such as powerline inspections, wildfire monitoring and search-and-rescue flights.
The Rotary Bat drone features a Yamaha-made airframe, an autonomous controller and technology designed to gather intelligence, Northrop said Thursday.
“The R-Bat joins our existing Bat family of unmanned aircraft systems used for tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions,” said George Vardoulakis, Northrop vice president of medium range tactical systems.
According to Northrop, the UAS is derived from Yamaha Motor’s RMAX unmanned helicopter for agricultural and industrial use.
RMAX has recorded more than 2 million flight hours to date and supports Japanese farming activities encompassing 2.4 million acres of property a year, Northrop says.