Kevin Raftery, vice president of ISR and space systems at UTC Aerospace Systems, said in a statement published Wednesday the first flight test sought to demonstrate the capability of the UTC Aerospace Systems-built MS-177 sensor system to build up Global Hawks’ imaging functions for aerial surveillance missions and reflect the company’s partnership with Northrop and the U.S. Air Force.
The MS-177 sensor works to provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data in support of the military’s ground and maritime missions.
UTC Aerospace Systems conducted the Feb. 8 flight test at Northrop’s Palmdale, California-based facility and will begin the integration, test and qualification process over a six-month period to facilitate the deployment of the sensor in late 2017.
The Air Force awarded UTC Aerospace Systems a contract in 2016 to test, integrate and field the MS-177A sensor variant on Global Hawk drones by late 2019.
The company also demonstrated the MS-177 sensor onboard the E-8C JSTARS aircraft in 2010 and on a high-altitude, long-endurance drone in 2016.