Northrop Jumpstarts UAV Training System Program; Karl Purdy Comments

Northrop Grumman has announced its first customer has signed up for the unmanned aerial vehicle Sandstorm/Longshot training system, National Defense Magazine reports. 

Karl Purdy, Northrop Grumman’s UAS programs manager told the magazine the undisclosed customer “was so enthused by the sale, they’ve asked for more already.”

The new training system is a fee-for-service program that allows customers to access maintenance, flight control, and troubleshooting information on drones like the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predator.

The Sandstorm/Longshot training system can access the program remotely via high-speed connection.

Purdy said the training could increase Air Force throughput by 25% and save the military branch $75 million a year.

Northrop says its UAV can go on 100 flights for the price of one Predator flight. 

The training system has not yet been certified for military use but Northrop said they met with Air Combat Command staff last month.

National Defense Magazine also reported that the company is scheduling a demonstration for the training system for February or March 2013.

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