Northrop Chooses Garmin to Supply Avionics for Firebird Aircraft; Carl Wolf Comments

Northrop Grumman Corp. has selected Garmin International Inc., to supply the avionics suite for the new Firebird optionally piloted vehicle, according to a statement by Garmin.

“Commercial avionics are an increasingly compelling option for government and military aircraft because they offer excellent features with significant time and cost savings,” said Carl Wolf, Garmin vice president of aviation sales and marketing.

The Firebird is equipped with Garmin’s synthetic vision technology to attempt to enhance situational awareness and hazard avoidance.

SVT presents a 3D depiction of terrain, obstacles, traffic and the runway environment on the flight displays.

Wolf said Garmin develops avionics available for commercial use and “Northrop Grumman was able to draw upon that expertise to integrate the avionics with their special missions systems.”

Garmin’s GWX 70 Doppler-capable weather radar and GTS 850 traffic and collision avoidance system are also installed to provide the aircraft a better picture of the operational environment.

Triple widescreen displays, dual touchscreen display/controllers and flight management systems are used in the ground control station when operating the aircraft as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle.

A hybrid of a conventional aircraft and a UAV, the Firebird was designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions (ISR) and made its first flight in November 2012.

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